It’s awfully hard for the Baltimore Ravens to catch a break when it comes to dealing with injuries over the course of the 2017 calendar year. While the tight end position has often been highlighted in this regard—offensive line is another group that has been hard-hit—the running back situation cannot be ignored, either.
The Ravens were hoping to see second-year running back Kenneth Dixon move into a starting role this season. But he was already lined up to serve a four-game suspension when he suffered a knee injury that resulted in him being shut down for the year.
Baltimore brought in free agent Danny Woodhead back in March in part because they knew that they would have to be without Dixon for those four games, but his signing become much more important after the former fourth-round pick was injured.
The only problem is that Woodhead has spent a good deal of time sidelined with injuries as well. I believe it was in his first or second practice of training camp that he suffered a hamstring injury. It took him weeks to come back from that.
Now he is dealing with yet another hamstring injury that the Ravens expect to sideline him for potentially up to about two months or so, an injury serious enough that they are reportedly considering placing him on injured reserve with the hope of being able to get him back toward the middle of the season.
Woodhead did not make it out of the Ravens’ first drive of their victory over the Bengals on Sunday, but even in that limited playing time, he showed potential. He had just one rushing attempt for four yards, but he also gained 33 yards on three receptions, each of which was enough to gain a first down.
Terrance West took over as the main back after Woodhead left the game, and he put up respectable numbers, gaining 80 yards on 19 carries and scoring a touchdown. Javorius Allen also carried the ball 21 times for 71 yards.
But the Ravens likely would not move on with just the two of them. Especially if they do move Woodhead to injured reserve, the team has angled to gather two solid options at running back that they have stockpiled on the practice squad.
Alex Collins was a 2016 fifth-round draft pick of the Seahawks. That year, he rushed for 125 yards on 31 carries with one touchdown, adding another 84 yards on 11 receptions. Jeremy Langford was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 draft by the Bears. Over two seasons, he rushed for 737 yards on 210 carries with 10 touchdowns, adding another 421 receiving yards on 41 catches, one for a touchdown.