There is a clear logjam at RB for the Ravens after resigning Justin Forsett last offseason, picking up Terrance West in November and using fourth-round picks on Lorenzo Taliaferro, Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon in consecutive years.
Healthy again after breaking his arm last season, Forsett is still the likely starter even though Harbaugh has vowed to go with the hot hand. Until Allen solves his fumbling issues and gets better in pass protection and Dixon shows what he can do at the next level, Forsett remains the Ravens’ most complete back.
The story went on to say: Allen is the likely No. 2 following a solid rookie season and Dixon should also get opportunities. West impressed team officials last season and could get a spot while Taliaferro needs to stay healthy. The Ravens will likely lose one or two backs with promise and even though Forsett appears to be the starter, there is plenty of talent at the position behind him on the depth chart.
Coming off a broken arm that cut his season short last year, Ravens RB Justin Forsett returned to summer workouts as the clear lead dog. He’s healthy once again and just two years removed from a Pro Bowl season. Still, Forsett will have to fend off talented younger competition, especially after his average yards per carry dropped from 5.4 yards in 2014 to 4.2 yards last season. He has to prove himself once again, but it’s his job to lose.
Forsett's YPC (4.25) was better than Javorius Allen's (3.75), but the rookie showed good receiving chops, hauling in 45 catches for 353 yards and two touchdowns. Allen was the #6 RB in standard formats (#3 in PPR) from Week 11 to Week 17, while Forsett was sidelined with a wrist injury. Forsett was #17 in standard and #12 in PPR through the first 10 weeks. According to HC John Harbaugh, the two will compete for touches in 2016. Rookie Kenneth Dixon is another potential headache for Forsett owners.
Monday, July 11, 2016, 9:46am
A little less than a month ago, kicker Justin Tucker said completing a long-term contract extension with the Ravens was a matter of when, not if. Both sides now have less than five days to make it happen.
The NFL’s seven “franchised” players have until 4 p.m. on Friday to reach agreements on long-term contracts with their respective teams. If no deal is reached, those tagged will play out the 2016 season under the franchise designation. In Tucker’s case, that would mean making $4.572 million in his fifth NFL season, a nice payday for the prolific kicker but not the outcome either side wants.
Ravens TE Dennis Pitta was one of the more active and productive offensive players for the past couple of weeks. Pitta is moving well and caught just about everything thrown in his direction. He’s always going to be at risk of reinjuring his hip, but for now, Pitta feels good and looks like he can be a significant contributor.
Ravens WR Steve L Smith opened up about why he returned for another season.
"A thousand receptions, to be honest," Smith said after the Ravens finished their second day of a three-day minicamp in Owings Mills. "You've got to have something to strive for."
"I may catch that, in my uniform, get in my car and go home," Smith said with a smile. "Straight from there. Drive all the way from M&T Bank [Stadium] straight to Charlotte [N.C.] in one shot."
While Ravens coach John Harbaugh has always encouraged players returning from an injury the previous season to try to get live competition in the preseason, it's likely the coach will let Smith decide if he'd rather play or rest.
For now, it appears Smith would vote against coming back before the Sept. 11 opener against the Buffalo Bills.
"I've been very comfortable throughout my career not playing in the preseason," Smith said. "I don't have any problem with that. Just four games that don't count and the liability of injury at the senior citizen age that I am, I think probably staying out will be good."
Through eight weeks, Smith was the #10 WR in PPR formats before tearing his Achilles. He’s 37, and doesn’t plan to play in the preseason, though he expects to be ready for Week 1. He’s still the best receiver on the team when healthy, but that’s a big caveat at this point in his career.
We'll see what being "fine for the season" really means. He's likely to miss a number of practices and may have to earn his playing time as the season begins if he's not able to participate in camp. More concrete timelines should come out in the next week or so.
Smith, who is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury, showed an impressive burst and change of direction to avoid it.
Smith tore his Achilles tendon on Nov. 1 and hasn't participated in any offseason workouts. In March, Smith said he was confident he would be ready for the start of the regular season. On Sunday, he declined to give a timetable on his return.
"I don't know when I'm coming back," he said. "I just know I have to be able to do something in training camp to be able to play for the season. That's just the way I operate. I can't go from doing absolutely nothing [and] sitting on my butt for all of training camp and then go out there and play."
It's a bad idea to doubt Smith, who is one of the toughest and most resilient players in the league. But he's a 37-year-old coming off of an Achilles injury. When healthy, he'll be the WR1 for the Ravens, but one has to wonder just how many games he'll be able to play this season. Father Time is undefeated.
Update on newest knee injury for Ravens WR Breshad Perriman: He suffered a partially torn ACL in his left knee and will visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday to determine if he needs potential season-ending surgery, per source. He missed last season with a partially torn PCL in his right knee.
It won’t be easy, but it will be on quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Marc Trestman to get everyone involved. However they do it, Aiken deserves a prominent role.
It's difficult to project the Baltimore receiving corps. Steve L Smith seems to be the WR1 if healthy, but he's 37 years old and coming off of a season-ending injury. Breshad Perriman was a 1st round pick and the team signed Mike Wallace in the offseason. Aiken was the most productive receiver in 2015 and is certainly the best bet to replace Smith if he were to miss any time.
Justin Forsett was a breakout player for the Ravens in 2014, totaling 1,266 yards rushing — more than twice as many as any of his previous six seasons — and eight touchdowns. In Forsett’s absence, Javorius Allen started the last six games of 2015 as a rookie.
Forsett's YPC (4.25) was better than Javorius Allen's (3.75), but the rookie showed good receiving chops, hauling in 45 catches for 353 yards and two touchdowns. Allen was the #6 RB in standard formats (#3 in PPR) from Week 11 to Week 17, while Forsett was sidelined with a wrist injury. Forsett was #17 in standard and #12 in PPR through the first 10 weeks. According to HC John Harbaugh, the two will compete for touches in 2016. Forsett will be a great value if he gets starter's touches and stays healthy. Dixon is the dark horse in Baltimore.
Ravens.com writer Kevin Byrne:
It’s only minicamp, but last year’s No. 1 pick, receiver Breshad Perriman, is startling. That’s one big and very fast wideout flying down the field. I know, he has to prove he can be healthy and beat NFL corners, but he leaps out when you watch practice.
Due to the opportunity in the Ravens' receiving corps, Perriman looked like a nice sleeper prior to his injury. The Ravens signed Mike Wallace, while Steve L Smith is back and Kamar Aiken emerged as a viable WR2, so Perriman is not guaranteed starter's snaps even though he brings deep speed to the receiving corps. If this buzz continues, however, he should be able to beat out the recently disappointing Wallace for a starting job.
Benjamin Watson is the new addition, Crockett Gillmore is the presumed starter, and Pitta is the popular veteran looking to complete what would be an uplifting comeback. Maxx Williams, a little more than a year after the Ravens traded up in the second round to get him, has become a forgotten man of sorts. But he can change that real quick by building off the solid finish to his rookie year.
This take is a bit surprising considering that the team signed Ben Watson and used a 2nd round draft pick on Williams last year. Rookie tight ends rarely make much of a fantasy or real-world impact, so there's no sense in writing off Williams at this point. Gillmore is recovering from offseason shoulder injury.
The workout session was closed to the media, but the Ravens released video and photos that showed Perriman in full stride running alongside safety Terrence Brooks, cornerback Sheldon Price and safety Matt Elam.
Perriman, Baltimore's first-round pick a year ago, is the Ravens player who has the most to prove this offseason. He didn't play a snap in the regular season because of a sprained posterior cruciate ligament.
Due to the opportunity in the Ravens' receiving corps, Perriman looked like a nice sleeper prior to his injury. Since then, the Ravens signed Mike Wallace, while Steve L Smith is back and Kamar Aiken emerged as a viable WR2, so Perriman is not guaranteed starter's snaps even though he brings speed and size to the receiving corps.
- Page 1