Bernard Pierce cleared to practice without restrictions

AP

The Ravens are expecting the league to be fair when it comes to discipline for running back Ray Rice in the wake of his offseason arrest for assaulting his wife in Atlantic City, but there aren’t many people who expect that Rice will be available for use in the opening weeks of the season.

Assuming that’s the case, there’s a big job waiting for Bernard Pierce if he’s healthy enough to take it after offseason shoulder surgery. Pierce made good progress during the offseason and that has continued into the summer with Pierce announcing that he’s been cleared to take part in practice without any restrictions.

“My shoulder definitely got a lot better,” Pierce said, via the Baltimore Sun. “I know that this is when the real grind starts. It was strenuous today, but overall it was definitely helpful.”

Pierce’s 2013 season was a nightmare of injuries and ineffectiveness, but he sounded optimistic that the change in offensive coordinators will pay off with better results this time around. Pierce said he has “a knack” for the “simpler” zone scheme that Gary Kubiak prefers to run. After the Ravens offense failed to catch fire last season, the team will be hoping that Pierce’s knack for the offense translates to the kind of results they’ll need to return to the playoffs.