In a plot line that’s become all too familiar to the Ravens this year, running back Ray Rice had a bad day on Sunday.
Rice ran 18 times for 30 yards, lowering his average to 2.5 yards per carry on the season and leading coach John Harbaugh to say Monday that he thought Rice’s hip is still troubling him. Rice missed one game earlier this year with a hip flexor injury, but declared himself healthy and back to his old self coming out of the team’s bye week. Whether it is injury, poor blocking or some combination of factors, Rice’s lack of productivity is opening the door for Bernard Pierce to grab a bigger share of the workload.
“Both of those guys are going to get a large number of carries, and I think whichever guy is playing better should get more carries as we go forward,” Harbaugh said, via the team’s website. “Both of those guys have to play for us and play well. You can’t have one back carrying the ball 35 times these days. We don’t need to do that; we think we’ve got two very good backs.”
Pierce hasn’t exactly been forcing the issue as he’s averaging just 2.8 yards per carry himself while battling a hamstring injury, but the Ravens aren’t really in a position to be choosy. They need their offense to get better if they are going to make a playoff run and that means looking under every rock for help.