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|With Ricky Williams riding off into the sunset, the Ravens used a 3rd round pick to acquire Pierce. Despite having good size at 6’0” and 218 pounds, he too often avoids contact and he can’t stay healthy. So, will practicing against Ray Lewis and the boys on the Ravens D make Pierce want to avoid contact more or less? Interesting question. Pierce will battle Anthony Allen for the opportunity to back up Ray Rice and Pierce figures to win that battle given his superior upside. However, there’s no chance of either player approaching the amount of touches (121) that Williams had last year.
| Heavy workload wearing down Justin Forsett -- Tue Dec 23 9:49 am --|
Ravens RB dealing with gimpy ankle, insists he's fine
|The career year for Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett is ending on a down -- and unfortunately predictable -- note.
In the past two games, Forsett has totaled 68 yards rushing and has been held under three yards per carry, an indication that the heaviest workload of his seven-year career is taking a toll. There have been signs of the NFL's fifth-leading rusher wearing down, from a knee injury a couple of weeks ago to an ankle injury on Sunday which forced him to miss the final nine minutes of the game.
"I'm fine. I'm ready to go," Forsett said after being held to a season-low 19 yards. "The defense did a great job, stopping us and stopping the run. Sometimes it's like that. We have to find a way to execute and win games. We just didn't do that today."
Forsett has now carried the ball 218 times, which ranks 10th-most in the NFL this season. That's also 100 more carries than he's received in any of his previous six seasons.
Teams are beginning to figure out that stopping the Ravens' run game throws everything out of whack for the Ravens' offense. The Ravens are 8-1 when they rush for over 120 yards, and they're 1-4 when they are held under 100 yards.
The Ravens managed 33 yards on the ground against the Houston Texans, which was only ranked 14th against the run.
FF Today's Take: Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury, so if Forsett had to miss Week 17, it would be up to undrafted rookie Fitzgerald Toussaint to shoulder the load along with Bernard Pierce.
The Cleveland Browns run defense ranks near the bottom of the NFL. If Forsett is okay to go, he's a must-play.