Ravens sign TE Xavier Grimble to practice squad with LB Kristian Welch hurt

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Matthew Stevens
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The practice squad was a valuable resource prior to this season but with some new rules, it’s become even more important. The Baltimore Ravens are maximizing their practice squad entering Week 2 by shuffling some players around.

Per the transaction reports, the Ravens moved UDFA linebacker Kristian Welch to the practice squad-injured list and signed veteran tight end Xavier Grimble to take his place. The moves still keep 16 players on Baltimore’s practice squad but gives them a little added insurance at tight end.

Grimble spent the last four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, starting seven games over that time. He has 23 receptions for 239 yards and three touchdowns in those four years, with most of his stats coming from a 2016 season in which he earned 21 of his 41 career targets.

Though the Ravens are pretty set at tight end with Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle taking care of business in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, having an experienced option sitting around on the practice squad isn’t a terrible idea either. Much was made of the third tight end spot this offseason and throughout training camp only for Baltimore to not keep a third tight end on the 53-man roster. While the Ravens could use fullback Patrick Ricard as a tight end at times, they probably wouldn’t want to rely on that in the event Andrews or Boyle were to get hurt.

Welch is one of two inside linebackers on Baltimore’s practice squad alongside Aaron Adeoye. Grimble becomes the third tight end on the Ravens’ practice squad, joining UDFA Eli Wolf and veteran Jerrell Adams.