The Baltimore Ravens dominated on the field on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. While the field was wet and slippery, the Ravens were able to consistently score points on offense, and defensively prevent the Bills from scoring as well. The entire game could not have gone much better. To add to the bonus of a huge week one victory, the Ravens left M&T Bank Stadium almost completely unscathed. I say almost because the Ravens did suffer one injury. The often injured running back Kenneth Dixon fell victim to his knee once again. After hobbling off the field, Baltimore did not release the nature of the injury, nor the extent of it. Dixon did not participate in the pre-game walkthrough yesterday, indicating that he would not see action in Baltimore’s game against Cincinnati this Thursday.
While many pondered whether or not the Ravens would elevate a running back from the practice squad for one game, it was unclear whether Baltimore would do that. If Baltimore played without Dixon, the Ravens would enter Cinncinati with just two running backs on the roster. Although this is not an ideal situation, in order to elevate a practice squad running back to the roster the Ravens would need to make room for him. This would entail either cutting a player or placing Dixon on the injured reserve. With Dixon seemingly out for just one game, the Ravens would be hesitant to lose him for a long period of time on the injured reserve. The only other injured Raven is Maurice Canady, who is not likely to miss much time. The Ravens are also already thin at cornerback with the loss of Jimmy Smith, so removing him is out of the question.
With the game fast approaching, the Ravens opted to do nothing at all, leading many to believe that Baltimore would play with just three backs on Thursday. However, the news broke today that Dixon is expected to miss a long period of time, perhaps a few weeks. Armed with this new information, the speculation has resurfaced that the Ravens will add another running back to the roster. Either Gus Edwards or De’Lance Turner.
While the Ravens cannot go multiple weeks with just three running backs. It will be difficult for the team to determine whether or not Dixon should be placed on the IR. By putting Dixon on the injured reserve, Baltimore would lose him for six weeks in practice, and eight in games. If the injury would only take a few weeks to recover from, it may be a waste to put Dixon on the IR. The flip side is that if the Ravens do nothing, the team may miss Dixon for multiple weeks. The ten days between games after this Thursday’s will give Dixon time to heal, but may not be enough. The Ravens could also cut Dixon, but this scenario seems unlikely. No matter what, the Ravens will need to decide on a course of action soon.
If the team decides to add a running back to the roster, the question then shifts to which to choose from. On the practice squad currently sits Gus Edwards and De’Lance Turner. Both of these backs are rookies, and both played well in the preseason. Edwards may have the upper hand of the two, because of his consistent performances, but Turner may be considered a better option to be explosive and healthy. No matter what or who the Ravens choose, the decision will be difficult but must be made soon.
UPDATE (9/12/18 2:56 PM)
The Baltimore Ravens chose to place Kenneth Dixon on the injured reserve list. Baltimore then added running back De’Lance Turner from the practice squad. Turner is a rookie out of Alcorn State who impressed coaches in the preseason.