2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens RB Rice looking to regain Pro Bowl form

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-16 15:03

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Three quarterbacks have more yards rushing this season than Ray Rice, which goes a long way toward explaining why the Baltimore Ravens own the league's 27th-ranked running game and have a disappointing .500 record.

Rice has 197 yards on the ground and is averaging a mere 2.8 yards per attempt. Of his 71 carries, 40 have gone for two yards or fewer and 20 have been for negative or no yardage.

Rice is 33rd on the league's rushing list, behind quarterbacks Michael Vick, Terrell Pryor and Russell Wilson and only seven yards better than Kansas City signal-caller Alex Smith.

A portion of the blame needs to be directed at a struggling offensive line that has not quite overcome the loss of retired center Matt Birk. Rice, however, just doesn't appear to be zipping through the line in the manner that earned him three trips to the Pro Bowl.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco suggested Wednesday that Rice may still be feeling the effects of a hip flexor strain that sidelined him in Week 3.

``He was banged up for a couple of weeks, and this is his first couple weeks back,'' Flacco said. ``Anytime you get a little banged up and aren't 100 percent, you need some time before you can get full explosion.''

But Rice insisted his injury is not an issue.

Days after he ran for a season-high 74 yards on 24 carries in a 26-23 win over Miami on Oct. 6, Rice said, ``I had one injury. I'm all right. I've been pretty fresh. I'm getting there.''

Last Sunday, however, he ran for only 34 yards on 14 attempts and twice was stuffed from inside the Green Bay 4-yard line in a 19-17 defeat.

``We would love to run the ball better,'' Rice said. ``It's not something that you plan on, going out there and messing up. The run game has to get better. We'll just keep sawing at it.''

Baltimore (3-3) faces AFC North rival Pittsburgh (1-4) on Sunday, and the Ravens sure could use their running game in a physical duel between two teams that rarely rely on finesse.

``Obviously, we want to run the ball as much as we can,'' guard Marshal Yanda said. ``We want to get after them. Hopefully we get to, but you never know. We'd like to. We want to.''

The defending Super Bowl sure could use the Rice of a year ago, when the 5-foot-8 dynamo ran for 1,143 yards - an average of 4.4 yards per carry - and caught 61 passes for 478 yards. This year, Rice has only 20 catches, none for longer than 11 yards.

Rice is the only player in Ravens history to have four straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He's going to need to pick it up dramatically to make it five in a row.

The toughest thing is, Baltimore has been performing well in practice. But it has not thus far translated to success in games.

``We work so hard,'' Rice said. ``I know for a fact that what we get in, between weightlifting, practice and everything we do, what we put out there is a little frustrating.''

Wide receiver Torrey Smith believes it's been tough on Rice, not just because his numbers are down but because the defending champs are struggling overall.

``Ray has handled it as well as you can,'' Smith said. ``Obviously you're going to be frustrated, especially when you're him and you're used to performing a certain way. The biggest thing is we haven't been winning and we haven't been doing as well as we wanted to on offense. We haven't met our own expectations, and he's definitely frustrated with that.''

The Ravens have been working particularly hard this week to correct the team's most obvious flaw.

``Everything's got to come together better,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ``There's a lot that goes into it. There are many different things that we've looked at over the last few days to try to improve. We definitely have the men to do the job. We've got the talent up front and at running back.''

Yanda and his teammates on the offensive line are eager to do what they can to let Rice free again.

``I just think we need to keep fighting to get him going and open up holes the best we can, give him the best look we can,'' Yanda said. ``We want to let him do his thing because we all understand what he does best. He's a great player. We want to get him going.''

In other news, linebacker Jameel McClain returned to practice on Wednesday after missing 10 months with a spinal cord contusion.

``They tried to kill me, I'm not dead, I'm still here, doing what I love,'' McClain said.

The Ravens have three weeks to make a decision about whether to put him on the 53-man roster.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LaMichael JamesSep 18 11:32p

The Miami Dolphins have expressed interest in free-agent RB LaMichael James (49ers) and it is believed that he has some interest in the team. James is expected to take [ More ]

Knowshon MorenoSep 18 11:32p

Miami Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (elbow) has been telling teammates that he hopes to return after the team's Week 5 bye.

Eric DeckerSep 18 11:14p

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan wants WR Eric Decker (hamstring) to test his injured hamstring in the coming days. The team would like to see him participate in practice Saturday, Sept. 20.

Dez BryantSep 18 11:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (shoulder) said his injured shoulder is sore but fully expects to play in Week 3. Bryant said his shoulder will not affect his performance or style of play.

Devin HesterSep 18 10:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Devin Hester left the game early Week 3 because of cramps and is considered questionable to return.

Harry DouglasSep 18 10:12p

Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas (foot) suffered a foot injury in Week 3 and is considered questionable to return.

Josh McCownSep 18 10:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) suffered a right thumb injury in Week 3, and is considered questionable to return.

Harry DouglasSep 18 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas (undisclosed) was helped off the field after suffering an undisclosed injury during the team's Week 3 game.

Robert WoodsSep 18 09:42p

Buffalo Bills WR Robert Woods (ankle) would not be able to play in Week 3 at this point because of his injury, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Justin SmithSep 18 09:32p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), OT Anthony Davis (hamstring), C Marcus Martin (knee) and TE Vance McDonald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 18. RB [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 18 09:02p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion), TE Rob Housler (hip), LB Alex Okafor (thigh), DE Frostee Rucker (calf) and P Dave Zastudil (groin) did not participate in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Scott WellsSep 18 08:42p

St. Louis Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back), TE Cory Harkey (knee), CB Brandon McGee (foot) and OG Rodger Saffold (illness) did not participate in practice [ More ]

Shaun HillSep 18 08:22p

St. Louis Rams QB Austin Davis or QB Shaun Hill (thigh) could come down to a game-time decision in Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.

Zach MillerSep 18 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks LB Bruce Irvin (rib), TE Zach Miller (ankle), LB Mike Morgan (hip) and CB Tharold Simon (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 18. RB Christine [ More ]

Kedric GolstonSep 18 08:12p

Washington Redskins DE Kedric Golston (groin), LB Akeem Jordan (knee) and CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 18. OG Kory Lichtensteiger (groin) and PK [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 18 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's case for child abuse could take six to 18 months to go to trial, according to a source. Peterson is on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list and is out indefinitely.

Johnny ManzielSep 18 07:42p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel's playing time is decided during the game, according to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan said using Manziel makes the defense have to think more [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictSep 18 07:42p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion) looks unlikely to play in Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans after leaving each of the first two games of the year with [ More ]

Shane VereenSep 18 07:22p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Sept. 18.

A. Seferian-JenkinsSep 18 07:12p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, RB Doug Martin, DL Gerald McCoy, OT Kevin Pamphile, CB Kip Edwards, LB Mason Foster, OG Rishaw Johnson inactive for Week 3.

Jerome SimpsonSep 18 07:02p

The Minnesota Vikings have released WR Jerome Simpson Thursday, Sept. 18.

Roddy WhiteSep 18 07:02p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White (hamstring) is inactive for Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Sept. 18.

Doug MartinSep 18 07:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) is officially inactive Thursday, Sept. 18.

C. WhitehurstSep 18 07:02p

Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) and LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Sept. 18. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) participated fully.

Cliff MatthewsSep 18 07:02p

The Atlanta Falcons have declared DL Cliff Matthews, C James Stone, CB Javier Arenas, WR Roddy White, OT Ryan Schraeder, QB Sean Renfree, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 3.

Brett KeiselSep 18 06:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers OG Ramon Foster (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Sept. 18. RB Dri Archer (ankle) was limited. WR Martavis Bryant (shoulder), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury related), DT Steve [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinSep 18 06:42p

New Orleans Saints S Marcus Ball (hamstring), LB David Hawthorne (ankle) and FB Erik Lorig (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Sept. 18. C Jonathan Goodwin (elbow), LB Kyle Knox [ More ]

Xavier RhodesSep 18 06:42p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd (shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Sept. 18. LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib), OT Phil Loadholt (ankle) and LB Brandon Watts (knee) were limited. LB [ More ]

Alfonzo DennardSep 18 06:42p

New England Patriots DE Michael Buchanan (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), OG Dan Connolly (knee), CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), S Don Jones (hamstring), DT Sealver Siliga (hand) and C [ More ]

Charles RogersSep 18 06:42p

Oakland Raiders LB Sio Moore (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Sept. 18. CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), OT Matt McCants (knee), LB Nick Roach (concussion), CB Charles Rogers (knee) and [ More ]

Ryan CladySep 18 06:32p

Denver Broncos LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and LB Danny Trevathan (knee) did not practice Thursday, Sept. 18. OG Ben Garland (ankle) was limited, while DT Marvin Austin (non-injury), S [ More ]

Tony RomoSep 18 06:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) returned to a full practice Thursday, Sept. 18, after skipping practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, with tightness in his back.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group