Justin Forsett was the lead back for most of the game, and excelled in the role, before rookie and Lorenzo Taliaferro came on. The Ravens RB situation should still be considered muddy at this point. Last time Pierce played he performed well against the Steelers and last week it was Taliferro who shined.
Friday, September 26, 2014, 6:33pm
Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 4. Pierce will play, though his place in the pecking order is unclear after a nice game from rookie runner Lorenzo Taliaferro. Even the Baltimore running backs don’t know how the touches will be divvied up, as OC Gary Kubiak indicated that he was going to take a “hot hand” approach.
There's no word yet on which running back will start or see the most touches for the Ravens...
"They're all going to play," OC Gary Kubiak said. "We're going to keep a fresh guy on the field -- that's what we're going to do -- and if we feel like one guys has the hot hand so to speak, then obviously he's going to go back out. I want them all to prepare as if they're starting."
Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:48pm
Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) took full practice reps again Thursday. Pierce is likely to play, though his place in the pecking order is unclear after a nice game from rookie runner Lorenzo Taliaferro.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 7:09pm
Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:09pm
Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 3. Pierce’s questionable tag means that he’s no sure thing to play through the thigh injury. Justin Forsett would likely see a big workload, though Lorenzo Taliaferro might start to see some touches in a change-of-pace role.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:30pm
Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) was added to the injury report Thursday after taking limited practice reps. Midweek downgrades are never a good sign. We’ll monitor his progress this week. Justin Forsett would be a Sneaky Start if Pierce can’t play.
Saturday, September 13, 2014, 1:43pm
With zero carries so far with one pass thrown in his direction for an incompletion against the Cincinnati Bengals, the fourth-round draft pick from Coastal Carolina says he's remaining patient and waiting his turn.
Taliaferro ranks third on the depth chart behind starting running back Bernard Pierce and backup Justin Forsett and has been active for each game, primarily operating on special teams. Pierce rushed for a game-high 96 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Forsett scored a touchdown against the Bengals as he gained 70 yards and had a 41-yard run against the Steelers.
"I don't know what my role is going to be," said Taliaferro who rushed for 243 yards and one touchdown on 65 carries during the preseason. "I just know I'm ready for whatever it is. I can't control any of that. All I can control is what I do when my number is called in that moment."
Taliaferro is a power runner with a fairly upright running style at 6-foot, 226 yards. Taliaferro was the Big South Offensive Player of the Year last season when he rushed for 1,729 yards and 27 touchdowns, the story says. One has to think his time is coming with Ray Rice now out of the picture. Pierce was much improved Thursday night against the Steelers but a lot of questions still remain with this Raven RB group.
Saturday, September 13, 2014, 9:41am
Six of his 21 carries came against eight-man fronts last week; only the Baltimore Ravens' Bernard Pierce had more carries against an eight-man front in Week 1, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Vikings faked handoffs to Peterson on Cordarrelle Patterson's two jet sweeps last week, and without Peterson on the field, defenses can devote more attention to Patterson and possibly avoid committing an extra defender to the run.
The Vikings have still managed to average 4.57 yards per carry in games Peterson has missed since 2007, according to ESPN Stats & Information, but there's little doubt their offense will take on a different configuration Sunday.
RBs Matt Asiata and rookie Jerick McKinnon will get most of the rushes, but Patterson could see more touches in that capacity. The Pats have proven to be very good at taking away a player on offense they deem most dangerous, and that now becomes Patterson. But at the same time, the Vikings could try to get Patterson a few more touches as he's now their most explosive player. Patterson's fantasy value should go up a bit with Peterson out of the picture.
Ravens beat writer Jamison Hensley:
As I touched upon Monday, the Ravens will likely go with a running back by committee approach because there is no established starter. The three tailbacks on the roster -- Justin Forsett, Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro -- have a combined nine NFL starts. That's a stark contrast to Rice's 80 career starts.
Forsett is the favorite to start Thursday night after he gained 70 yards on 11 carries in the season opener and played most of the snaps in the second half. Harbaugh explained that Forsett got the chance because Pierce fumbled in the second quarter, but Forsett's production kept Pierce on the sideline.
Pierce remains in the Ravens' plan at running back despite being benched for the entire second half Sunday, Harbaugh said. Of all of the Ravens' backs, Pierce figures to be the back who ends up with the most carries by the end of the season.
It's interesting that Hensley believes that Forsett is the favorite to start yet he also suggest that Pierce will get the most carries this year. Our money is on Pierce for the long haul, but he wasn't very good last year and didn't get off to an inspiring start in Week 1. Taliaferro is the wild card.
If you didn't pick up on it, Harbaugh named every tailback on the roster. As I wrote earlier, Forsett earned the right to start against the Steelers after gaining 70 yards on 11 carries in the season opener.
But, since no one in the backfield is an established starter, Harbaugh will likely go with the hot hand each game. The approach is probably a running-back-by-committee, so Harbaugh would be right in naming everyone a starter.
Pierce fumbled in Week 1 and promptly rode the bench allowing for a nice day for Forsett. But Forsett probably isn't viewed as a longterm answer and it's hard to believe the team wouldn't give Pierce another shot with Rice now out of the picture. This is shaping up to be a committee and even in a nice matchup against the Steelers, who were gashed at times but the Browns last week, you may just want to stay clear of this situation given all that's going on with the team on a short week.
Wetzel was told that one factor was his version of what happened didn't match with video, which was released Sunday night, apparently showing Rice punching his then-fiance in an elevator. So, it appears that the outrage over the video has resulted in the release. The initial fantasy reaction is that this is now Bernard Pierce’s show, but the team didn’t show a whole lot of confidence in Pierce when they benched him after he lost a fumble against the Bengals. Still, that was an in-game situation and now that Rice is out of the picture, we have to expect that Pierce will be given every chance to carry the load. He looked good in camp and multiple sources have said that he’s a great fit for Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme. Justin Forsett should continue to have a big role, especially in the passing game, while rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro (who did not get a single touch in Week 1) will try to work his way into the mix.
A video surfaced overnight of Rice apparently punching his then-fiance in a hotel elevator. Rice was suspended for two games for the incident and was scheduled to come back Week 3. For owners, this is obviously something to monitor. From a fantasy point, the Ravens RB situation is a mess right now after Bernard Pierce was benched for a fumble. Justin Forsett took over as the lead back and it remains to be seen who gets the start in a short week against the Steelers Thursday night in what now looks like a good matchup. Lorenzo Taliaferro could also be in the mix for carries as well.
Friday, September 5, 2014, 5:45pm
Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (concussion, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 1. Pierce is ready to carry the load in a tough matchup against the Bengals with Ray Rice sidelined due to suspension. Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett will serve as change-of-pace backs.
Bernard Pierce is completely recovered from a concussion suffered during the preseason and is ready to handle the Ravens' starting running back job for the next two weeks, a team official said. Pierce is perfectly suited for Gary Kubiak's one-cut system because he is big enough to run between the tackles and has the quickness to hit the holes. The one question mark is Pierce's vision, as he doesn't always hit the right lanes. The Ravens will look to establish the run early, even though the Bengals were one of the top run defenses in the league last year. Everything stems from setting up the run in Kubiak's offense, a team official noted. Look for Pierce to get a lot of touches.
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