Ravens Sign Ex-Falcons Starting RB: Report

Ravens Mike Davis

Getty Former Atlanta Falcons running back Mike Davis celebrates a touchdown in December 2021.

The Baltimore Ravens have signed former Atlanta Falcons starting running back Mike Davis, according to multiple reports, giving the team backfield depth with three running backs recovering from major injuries in 2021.

NFL insider Jordan Schultz was the first to report the signing, with Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson later corroborating the news.

The 29-year-old Davis will immediately provide a veteran presence in the Ravens’ backfield; his seven seasons of NFL experience are more than double that of any other running back in Baltimore. He’s been a consistent contributor over the past two seasons, averaging more than 12 touches per game and racking up almost 1,800 total yards from scrimmage.

That’s especially important with Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill all working their way back to the field after suffering significant injuries in the 2021 preseason. Edwards and Dobbins both tore their ACL, while Hill ruptured his Achilles. 

The brutal stretch of injuries caught the Ravens by surprise, forcing them to add a series of veteran backs right before the regular season, including Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray. Bell never quite caught on in Baltimore, while Murray was inconsistent over the course of the season. 

Freeman, though, finished 2021 with 133 carries, tied for the team lead with Lamar Jackson, and didn’t fumble the football a single time while averaging 4.3 yards per carry. The Ravens will be looking for that kind of reliability out of Davis as he competes for a roster spot this summer.

Davis later appeared to confirm his arrival in Baltimore on Twitter with a purple emoji that drew plenty of excited responses from Ravens fans.

Ravens RB Competition

While Edwards and Dobbins are expected to share starting duties this season, their ongoing rehab and Baltimore’s run-heavy offense will require at least two more running backs on the Ravens’ 53-man roster.

Hill and Davis will compete with Ty’Son Williams and Nate McCrary, two former undrafted free agents who spent time with the Ravens in 2021. Both impressed during the preseason, earning Williams a roster spot in Baltimore and McCrary one with the Denver Broncos, but neither found much success in the regular season.

The Ravens also added two rookies to their backfield: sixth-round pick Tyler Badie and undrafted free agent Ricky Person. Badie averaged 5.9 yards per carry for the Missouri Tigers in 2021, finishing the season with almost 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns, per Pro Football Focus. Person spent four years at North Carolina State sharing carries with New York Jets undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight.

Will Davis Make Ravens’ Roster?

Of this group, Badie, Hill and Davis are the most likely to make the roster. The Ravens liked Badie enough to spend a draft pick on him, so he should be in pole position. Hill’s knowledge of Baltimore’s system and special teams ability will help his case, but he’ll need to show he still has the explosiveness of his 4.41-second 40-yard dash back in 2019.

Davis struggled in 2021, rushing for 0.76 yards per attempt below expected, per NextGen Stats, though it’s possible that his powerful running style fits better in the Ravens’ gap rushing scheme than it did in the Falcons’ zone scheme.