The Baltimore Ravens’ running back picture was cloudy at best, earlier this season. Injuries to J K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards sent Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta scrambling to find reinforcements. The puzzle is starting to come together for the Ravens. “We’re just starting to get a feel for our [running] backs, really. I think you’ll see that evolve as the year goes on, as well. I think they all kind of have been learning our system,” said Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
Initially, the Ravens turned to Tyson Williams, and he delivered a nine-carry, 65-yard performance in the season opener follower by 77 rushing yards on Week 2. Veteran running back Latavius Murray was added right before the season started and he has delivered three rushing touchdowns in four games. Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has gone from the practice squad to contributor in a few weeks. But it wasn’t necessarily for running the ball. The Ravens took advantage of Bell’s blocking ability last Sunday against the Denver Broncos. “Le’Veon [Bell], did a really nice job in pass protection— a couple really good blocks in there and made a couple nice cuts,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Roman added, “I think he has a really good enthusiasm. He’s a smart guy, and it’ll be interesting to see how he can help us. So far, I’ve been very impressed with him. You can see why he’s been so successful, and hopefully, he can add something to us at some point this year. But [I’ve seen] nothing but positives.”
Devonta Freeman also got an opportunity to carry the football through three games. The running back by committee approach seems to be the direction the Ravens are going. It’s still a work of progress but the Ravens are pleased with how it’s coming together. “The first game, they got here a couple days before the game. But we like what we see with all of them, and we want to keep them fresh and ready to roll. Whoever has the hot hand,” Roman said. The committee is complimented by quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has been a driving force in the rushing attack. In fact, the Ravens have a streak of 43 consecutive 100-yard rushing games which dates back to Jackson’s first game as their starting quarterback on November 18, 2018. Baltimore is tied with the Steelers for the longest consecutive 100-yard rushing game streak in NFL history. Although there is no set back to take the bulk of the carries, the Ravens rushing attack is still a force to be dealt with. Collectively, Baltimore’s rushing offense has gained 658 yards, which places them in third place.