Running back remains a questionable position for the Baltimore Ravens while the team waits on the return of injured players. J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards both missed the 2021 season and were also joined on the treatment table by fellow back Justice Hill.
Those injuries left general manager Eric DeCosta and head coach Jim Harbaugh scrambling to find solutions. They brought in Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray to varying degrees of success.
Freeman led all Ravens running backs with 576 yards, but like Murray, he remains on the free-agent market. It means DeCosta and Harbaugh might want to consider another veteran who could provide stability for the rotation.
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Those considerations appear to be leading to direct action, with the Ravens said to be in discussions with a former 1,000-yard rusher. This two-time Pro Bowler has spent his career in the AFC West and possesses the versatility to handle the starting role in Baltimore.
Pro Bowl Back ‘A Person of Interest’ for Ravens
Gordon would be a smart pickup for a team prepared to trust experience over youth at key positions. Like Freeman, 28-year-old Gordon is an able runner and a competent receiver.
He’s had his share of injury problems during a seven-year career, but Gordon started 16 games for the Broncos in 2021. Those starts yielded 918 yards on the ground to go with 213 as a pass-catcher.
Gordon also notched 10 touchdowns, including eight rushing scores. He’s never had a problem finding the end zone, scoring 67 touchdowns since he entered the league in 2015, giving Gordon a prolific streak nobody can better, per NFL on CBS:
Pairing Gordon’s red-zone efficiency with quarterback Lamar Jackson’s dual-threat skills would make the Ravens lethal inside the 20. It would also make the picture a little clearer for a running back depth chart currently beset with more questions than answers.
Ravens Need Reinforcements at RB
You only need to glance at last season’s statistics to know how badly the Ravens need reinforcements at running back. Jackson was the leading rusher, despite playing quarterback and missing five games with an ankle injury.
DeCosta so far declining to bring back Freeman and Murray indicates the Ravens want to refresh their options. Talks with Gordon also hint that the timetable for Dobbins and Edwards to return to full health is still a concern.
Dobbins and Edwards both suffered torn ACLs last summer. Harbaugh was non-committal when asked about a fixed return date for the pair at the annual owners meeting.
The coach said “there’s a chance they’ll be on PUP to start training camp,” per comments relayed on the Ravens official Twitter account:
Aside from waiting on injured players, the Ravens will also want to see improvement from Ty’Son Williams. A rookie free agent in 2020, Williams missed the chance to take his career up a notch last season when he “struggled with blocking, did not play special teams, and fell out of favor with coach John Harbaugh,” according to Sports Illustrated’s Todd Karpovich.
There’s obviously room for a proven commodity offensive coordinator Greg Roman can trust to carry the load. Roman’s offense is still a run-first scheme, so Gordon, who fell behind Javonte Williams in the Broncos’ pecking order, should jump at the chance join a team that will feature his talents more often.