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The Ravens made it official on Tuesday, placing starting cornerback Fabian Washington and running back Matt Lawrence on Injured Reserve with injuries to both of the players’ knees.
To fill their roster spots, Baltimore signed a pair of young but experienced prospects in fullback Charles Ali and cornerback Cary Williams.
Williams was a seventh-round draft pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2008 from Washburn University as a consensus Division II All-American. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder had seven interceptions as a senior and returned two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
For the majority of his first two years in the NFL, Williams developed on the Titans’ practice squad, where the Ravens grabbed him.
Ali spent the past two years on the Cleveland Browns’ active roster, playing in 28 total games. He was released prior to the 2009 season opener and has since been the lead blocker for the UFL’s New York Sentinels.
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007 by the Browns out of Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Ali stands 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds.
Washington tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during last Sunday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts as he was pushing running back Joseph Addai out of bounds in the fourth quarter. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he expected Washington to land on IR in his Monday press conference, but was awaiting final results of a magnetic resonance imaging test.
Several players could fill in for Washington with the first-team, with rookie Lardarius Webb currently leading the race.
Lawrence, a valuable special teams performer that boasted 16 special teams tackles, hasn’t practiced since he hurt his knee in the week of practice leading up to Baltimore’s Nov. 16 showdown with the Cleveland Browns.