Veteran safety DeShon Elliott was a member of the Baltimore secondary last year for that epic Week 3 matchup with the Lions at Ford Field that ended in a Ravens walk-off win on an NFL record 66-yard field goal.
In that victory, Elliott said he learned a little something about the Lions, head coach Dan Campbell and the staff he's assembled in Detroit.
"We played Detroit last year and the game was a slobberknocker," Elliott said Thursday while speaking to reporters for the first time since signing a one-year deal with the Lions last week. "They played so hard.
"I could just tell from that game how much they loved their coaches by the way they played. You can always tell teams by the way they play. They really bought in and love the experiences they have in the building. That was one thing from the outside looking in, when I went on my visit (to Detroit) last week and being able to be around the coaches, I really feel like they love and care for each one of their players. They want to be great."
Elliott, who turned 25 on Thursday, was an effective member of the Ravens secondary the last three seasons, but he has battled injuries throughout his career.
He missed his entire rookie season with a fractured forearm and parts of the 2019 and 2021 seasons with knee and pectoral injuries.
He had his most efficient season in 2020, when he played in and started all 16 games, recording 80 tackles, three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks while defending four passes and only allowing two touchdowns in his coverage all season.
Elliott has played 28 of a possible 65 games to begin his career, but the Lions are hoping he can stay healthy and compete for a starting spot next to Tracy Walker in their split safety scheme.
"You can't predict injuries. It sucks," Elliott said. "You have to realize that the best ability is availability. I have to get the injury bug out of the way. Hopefully with this fresh start and new beginning I can work that out, because when I'm on the field I'm very productive. Now, hopefully I can bring that to Detroit and compete for a starting role and just be able to make this team and this defense better."
Elliott, who originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft selection (190th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Texas by the Ravens, said the way Detroit played last year and the culture this coaching staff is building were huge factors in his decision to sign with the team. He said it matches perfectly with the way he likes to play.
View photos from offseason workouts on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
Elliott and Walker were in the same draft class in 2018 and have followed each other on social media over the years. Elliott is a big fan of Walker's game, and he thinks they can be a good duo in the backend of Detroit's defense.
But for that to become a reality, Elliott knows he has to get past the injuries that have held him back early in his career.
"I pray to God that my injury bug is out of the way," he said. "So I can finally do what I plan to do."