According to Ed Lee of the Baltimore Sun, just after the Ravens officially announced the signing of running back Bobby Rainey Wednesday, head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that running back Kenneth Dixon will sit out the entire 2017 season because of a torn meniscus in his left knee. Harbaugh announced that the injury was a full tear and that the 5-foot-10, 212-pound Dixon suffered the injury while working out recently with strength and conditioning coaches from Louisiana Tech, where he played for four years.
That leaves Terrance West (Towson University, Northwestern High), Danny Woodhead, Buck Allen, Rainey and undrafted rookie Taquan Mizzell atop the depth chart at running back. Lorenzo Taliaferro, who is making the transition to fullback, could also carry the ball.
Harbaugh, however, said he is not worried about depth at that position. “[We will] just move forward with what we’ve got, go with the guys we have,” he said. “… I’m excited. It just means we’ll have that much more depth for next year.”
Nose tackle Brandon Williams said the team intends to move forward.
“I definitely wish Kenneth Dixon a speedy recovery, but the show must go on,” he said. “The front office does a great job – [general manager] Ozzie Newsome], Coach Harbs, and everybody else – of plugging in guys who can come in and ball out for us. In Ozzie we trust. So we’re going to go out on the field and do what we’ve got to do regardless.”
Dixon, who has injured that left knee three times since he was selected in the fourth round of last year’s NFL draft, joins tight end Dennis Pitta(third hip fracture) and cornerback Tavon Young (torn left ACL) as key Ravens players to suffer season-ending injuries. Tight end Darren Waller will serve a yearlong suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse rules.
The 23-year-old Dixon rushed for 382 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games last fall and caught one touchdown pass. He could serve a four-game suspension to start the regular season after he violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs if the team places him on injured reserve before the start of the regular season.
Rainey, 5 feet 8 and 205 pounds, who spent one season with the team after being signed in 2012 as an undrafted rookie out of Western Kentucky, has gained 1,053 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 266 carries in five seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneersand New York Giants. The 29 year old has caught 71 passes for 530 yards and two scores, and averaged 24.8 yards on kick returns and 9.2 yards on punt returns.