Bernard Pierce Fantasy News

Report: Ray Rice suspended for two games
Thursday, July 24, 2014, 11:44am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down a two-game suspension to Ray Rice for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, sources confirmed Thursday. The league has not officially announced the suspension.

Fantasy Impact:

The general consensus was that Rice would get a four-game ban, so this is good news for his fantasy value and bad news for Bernard Pierce who will have a tough time establishing himself as the RB1 in two division games against the Bengals and the Steelers.

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Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (shoulder) cleared for practice
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 11:27am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce told The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday that he will be able to practice with no restrictions at training camp after undergoing shoulder surgery in January.

The Ravens are preparing for a potential Ray Rice suspension with a committee attack including Pierce, Justin Forsett and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro.

After a promising rookie season, Pierce turned in a disastrous 2013 campaign, hampered by shoulder, hamstring, toe and knee injuries behind a blocking scheme that failed to consistently open holes.

Now healthy, Pierce is optimistic about a bounce-back season in new coordinator Gary Kubiak's successful zone-blocking scheme.

Fantasy Impact:

Pierce figures to start if/when Ray Rice is suspended to start the season, and though unlikely, he could run away with the job. He was just as bad (2.9 YPC) as Rice was (3.1 YPC) last season, so both players are expected to bounce back in Gary Kubiak's offense.

Monday, July 21, 2014, 11:28am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ravens beat writer Jeff Zrebiec:

The guy to watch is running back Bernard Pierce, who had offseason shoulder surgery. Pierce was limited during the various offseason minicamps, though he looked in good shape and raring to go. If he has been cleared for contact, it will be a nice development for the Ravens, especially with Ray Rice’s suspension announcement looming.

I was going to write “with Rice’s suspension imminent,” but that’s what I’ve been thinking for about three weeks now. It has been exactly five weeks since Rice and his wife met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York. Goodell has plenty of other disciplinary issues on his plate, so I have no idea what the holdup is in making the decision on Rice. I would have guaranteed you earlier this month that the Ravens would know how long Rice would be sidelined before the start of training camp. Now, I’m not so sure.

Fantasy Impact:

At just 26 years old, it was surprising to see Rice's production fall off the way it did, but he was dealing with hip and quad injuries throughout the season. He was also coming off of a Super Bowl run the previous year, which likely wore him down. GM Ozzie Newsome said he expects Rice to return to Pro Bowl form, but HC John Harbaugh said after the season that the team could take more of a committee approach at running back, which would limit Rice's upside. Still, assuming his offseason legal issues don't impact his availability (too much), he is a bounceback candidate in Gary Kubiak's offense.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 9:58am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

There doesn’t figure to be a whole lot of drama for the Ravens running backs.

Ray Rice’s expected suspension probably will lead to the Ravens keeping an extra running back early in the season. That would benefit Justin Forsett, who has looked elusive and quick in offseason practices and could have a role in the offense early.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, a rookie fourth-round pick, also could work his way into the rotation. At 230 pounds, Taliaferro is a good candidate for short-yardage duties, a major issue with the Ravens last year. Kyle Juszczyk wasn’t used on offense last season, but that figures to change with new coordinator Gary Kubiak calling the plays.

Fantasy Impact:

It looks like Bernard Pierce should be given every chance to fill in while Rice serves his suspension, which has yet to be determined. It sounds like Taliaferro could steal some short TDs, however. Once the suspension is announced, it will give the Ravens a better plan for reps at camp, and should also give a better clue for fantasy owners.

Monday, July 7, 2014, 4:09pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Baltimore Ravens are about two weeks from starting training camp, and they have no idea on how long running back Ray Rice will be unavailable to begin the season.

The NFL needs to make a decision soon because the league shouldn't punish the Ravens along with Rice, who is expected to receive a multi-game suspension for allegedly striking his fiancée unconscious in February. The Ravens' workload at running back will be based on the length of Rice's absence.

Why is the NFL taking so long to announce its decision? Rice's legal situation was wrapped up on May 20, when he was accepted into a pretrial intervention program to avoid trial on aggravated assault charges. That was 48 days ago.

Rice met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on June 16. That was three weeks ago.

Fantasy Impact:

If Rice is going to miss a major chunk of the season, the Ravens would give Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro more snaps this summer, especially later in the preseason. If Rice is only going to be suspended for a couple of games, the Ravens' rotation at running back may not change significantly.

Monday, June 16, 2014, 5:51pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ravens RB Ray Rice and his wife met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell today at the league’s New York headquarters, one of the final steps for the embattled running back in dealing with his February offseason arrest before the start of the 2014 football season.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed the meeting, which has been expected as Rice faces discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy stemming from an aggravated assault charge for allegedly striking his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, during an altercation in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino.

It’s unclear how quickly Goodell will rule on Rice’s suspension. He traditionally meets with any player facing discipline before making a decision, which is the reason Rice was in New York today.

The expectation is that Rice, who previously had a clean record, will get a multi-game suspension. The Ravens prepared for his expected early-season absence by signing veteran running back Justin Forsett and drafting back Lorenzo Taliaferro in the fourth round of this year's NFL draft. Bernard Pierce, Rice’s backup the past two seasons, is also slightly ahead of schedule in his return from offseason shoulder surgery, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

If suspended, Ray Rice will get a chance to win RB1 job
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:35pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Ravens beat writer Jamison Hensley was asked -- Can you envision a scenario where Bernard Pierce takes the opportunity to be the starter for 2, 3, 4 games and runs away with the job, or will it be Rice's when he comes back in all likelihood?

"Rice will get a chance to take back the starting job when he gets back. (HC John) Harbaugh likes sticking with the hot hand, but Rice has earned the right to get first crack at the No. 1 job because of his track record."

Fantasy Impact:

At just 26 years old, it was surprising to see Rice's production fall off the way it did, but he was dealing with hip and quad injuries throughout the season. He was also coming off of a Super Bowl run the previous year, which likely wore him down. GM Ozzie Newsome said he expects Rice to return to Pro Bowl form, but HC John Harbaugh said after the season that the team could take more of a committee approach at running back, which would limit Rice's upside. Rice has shown 'good burst' in practice and it appears he is still the RB1 even if he's suspended.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:22am

Sports on Earth - [Full Article]

Robert Weintraub on how Ray Rice may struggle in 2014: "Ray Rice will likely be suspended by the NFL for his off-the-field actions, and upon return will find himself struggling for playing time. Bernard Pierce will finally spend more hours in the huddle than in the X-ray facility, and when healthy, he is choice. Justin Forsett is on hand to catch Rice's passes out of the backfield, and the small but blazing scatback will provide the jolt Rice was unable to muster last season. Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro will be the backfield punishment (and not just of taxi cabs), while perhaps singing an aria or two. Rice's poor play raised plenty of eyebrows last year, and his rocky offseason has only made his situation less tenable. His leverage with the team has been that the Ravens needed him. In 2014, that won't be the case."

Sunday, June 1, 2014, 2:57pm

Jamison Hensley, ESPN - [Full Article]

The Ravens actually have their most depth at running back since John Harbaugh took over as coach in 2008. There are four legitimate runners on this roster with Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett. Pierce should be motivated to show he's more like the back in 2012 than last year. He just needs to stay healthy. Taliaferro is a rookie fourth-round pick who is the big back that the Ravens have been seeking for the past few years. He made headlines this past two week after being arrested for a couple of misdemeanors, which hasn't significantly changed their high expectations of him. And Forsett is a fast, elusive third-down type of a back. If Rice is suspended, the Ravens will go with Pierce. If Pierce isn't healthy, the Ravens will decide between Taliaferro and Forsett.

Fantasy Impact:

Pierce is nursing a shoulder injury but should be ready for camp. He will play a key role if Rice is suspended.

Friday, May 30, 2014, 10:12am

Carroll County Times - [Full Article]

Ravens HC Jim Harbaugh had positive news regarding running back Bernard Pierce.

Baltimore expected Pierce to be sidelined until at least the beginning of training camp after undergoing shoulder surgery in January, but Pierce went through light work at practice Thursday.

“[He] may be a little bit ahead of schedule maybe,” Harbaugh said.

Fantasy Impact:

Pierce could have a large role early in the season if Ray Rice is suspended, which is expected.

Lorenzo Taliaferro arrested for public drunkenness
Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 4:53pm

The Virginia Gazette - [Full Article]

Lorenzo Taliaferro, who two weeks was drafted by the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, was arrested early Saturday morning and charged breaking a window in a taxi cab.

Fantasy Impact:

Taliaferro is expected to compete with Bernard Pierce for carries, especially if Ray Rice is suspended as expected. These aren't the kinds of headlines that rookies want to be making when auditioning for playing time.

Lorenzo Taliaferro impresses in pass protection
Friday, May 23, 2014, 3:57pm

Baltimore Ravens - [Full Article]

Ravens HC John Harbaugh said Lorenzo Taliaferro did a nice job of picking up the aiming points in the run scheme and then making the appropriate reads.

“I thought Lorenzo was very smooth running the ball,” Harbaugh said.

“He looks like he is a big guy, a downhill guy. I was very impressed with what kind of shape he is in. There is not an ounce of fat on him, and he is 230 pounds. [He is] very good at pass protection. I thought he showed excellent hands and get-away ability on his routes when he went against a linebacker. So [it was] all good that way.”

Fantasy Impact:

Bernard Pierce is out with a shoulder injury, but should be ready for training camp. Ray Rice is facing suspension from the league though he will avoid a trial and possible jail time. Taliaferro could emerge as the Week 1 starter if Pierce's shoulder is not ready.

Bernard Pierce (shoulder) out until training camp
Sunday, May 18, 2014, 1:51pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce remains out until training camp after undergoing rotator cuff surgery in January on his right shoulder. Harbaugh reiteratated that Pierce isn't going to practice the entire spring.

The Ravens could need Pierce to play a lot early in the season, especially if starter Ray Rice is suspended under the NFL personal-conduct policy because of a domestic violence incident at an Atlantic City casino.

“He’s been allowed to move around a little bit, but we just can’t risk him falling on it right now and getting a setback,” Harbaugh said. “So, you’re probably looking at training camp for him, which shouldn’t be an issue as long as you don’t get a setback.”

Fantasy Impact:

Rice's situation makes Pierce a player to monitor this offseason. Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Cierre Wood are next up on the depth chart.

Ray Rice's arraignment set for Thursday
Monday, April 28, 2014, 11:47am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ray Rice and Janay Palmer whom he married in March, got into a physical altercation on Feb. 15 at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., according to police.

Rice and Palmer were both originally facing simple assault-domestic violence charges. After Atlantic City police referred the case to prosecutors for review, the charges were upgraded to the more serious charge of third-degree aggravated assault when Rice was indicted by a grand jury.

Palmer, who was arrested along with Rice the night of the incident, had her case administratively dismissed.
According to the indictment, Rice allegedly did "cause significant bodily injury to Janay Palmer, and/or did purposely or knowingly cause significant bodily injury to Janay Palmer and/or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, did recklessly cause significant bodily injury to Janay Palmer."

Should Rice be convicted of aggravated assault, Rice could face jail time. However, as a first-time offender, Rice could potentially avoid that outcome through a diversionary program.

Fantasy Impact:

This isn't just going away. Rice will likely face a suspension if he is convicted, but the case may not go to trial before the 2014 season. If he is suspended this year, his stock will take a major hit and Bernard Pierce would get a bump.

Friday, April 4, 2014, 1:21pm

Baltimore Ravens - [Full Article]

The Ravens have signed running back Justin Forsett to a one-year deal.

Baltimore was looking to add to its running back corps this offseason. Ray Rice’s recent legal troubles, which could lead to a suspension, also a consideration, according to Head Coach John Harbaugh. Forsett joins Rice and Bernard Pierce.

He spent the 2012 season with the Houston Texans and new Ravens Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak, which gives him an understanding of Kubiak’s system that he can help pass along to the other running backs.