Ravens Sign Veteran RB, Place Boyle on IR

Ravens Latavius Murray

Getty New Baltimore Ravens running back Latavius Murray stiff arms a defender during a 2020 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Baltimore Ravens continue to add to their running back depth, signing veteran Latavius Murray to their 53-man roster today.

First reported by Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, the deal sees Murray join running backs Ty’Son Williams and Trenton Cannon on the Ravens’ active roster, with Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell remaining on the practice squad for the time being.

The Ravens have scrambled to find new running backs following season-ending injuries to J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill.

Murray, who spent the last two season in New Orleans, was released by the Saints after refusing to take a pay cut, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He’ll earn the veteran minimum in Baltimore, but incentives could take his deal up to $2 million, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

He arrives in Baltimore coming off a solid season as Alvin Kamara‘s backup, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 7.7 yards per reception. He earned a 82.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his efforts in 2020, eighth among all running backs.

Ravens’ New-Look Backfield Makes Practice Debut

Murray and Freeman made their practice debuts on Friday, while Bell and Cannon participated in their first practice on Wednesday.

Head coach John Harbaugh has yet to determine which running backs will play on Monday against the Las Vegas Raiders, telling ESPN’s Jamison Hensley that he still has to determine “what different guys can handle in the game.”

Williams is most familiar with the Ravens’ offense, having played in all three of the team’s preseason games. Despite the additions at running back, Williams’ standout preseason likely earned him the lion’s share of the team’s carries against the Raiders. Before the injury to Edwards, Harbaugh had already committed to giving Williams plenty of playing time in the regular season, so he’ll likely start in Edwards’ absence.

Murray and Cannon are already on the active roster, and both played during the preseason, so they’ll see the field in Las Vegas as well.

Either Bell or Freeman could be activated for Monday’s game, but Freeman is the more likely option, since he played in the preseason. Bell hasn’t played since January, so he will take more than a few days to get up to speed in Baltimore.

Ravens Move Boyle to IR

The Ravens moved Nick Boyle to short-term injured reserve on Friday, which will keep the tight end sidelined until Week 4 of the regular season.

The team initially hoped Boyle would be back early in the season, but with the rash of injuries afflicting the squad, Harbaugh opted to hold Boyle out to “get him right,” reported Zrebiec.

Edwards and cornerback Marcus Peters were both placed on season-ending injured reserve after suffering torn ACLs on back-to-back plays during Thursday’s practice, joining Hill, Dobbins and veteran linebacker L.J. Fort.

The moves leave one open spot on the Ravens’ 53-man roster, but the team has yet to announce who they will add.

To make room for Freeman on the practice squad, the Ravens cut former first-round pick Andre Smith, an offensive tackle who opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expect to see more roster shuffling ahead of Monday’s regular season opener, as the injury-ravaged Ravens still have to make a few moves to get their team ready for the field.

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