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."
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.