The Baltimore Ravens were short of running back options and were down to just two healthy running backs going into the season after J.K. Dobbins tore his ACL during preseason and his back-up, Justice Hill, tore his Achilles this week.
The severity of those injuries meant that the Ravens had to act fast and sign a couple of running backs to add to the 53-man roster. The first one of those RB additions is veteran Le’Veon Bell who used to play for Ravens’ arch-rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers between 2013 and 2018.
Le’Veon Bell will not be the only addition to the Ravens’ running back department, though, and the Baltimore-based franchise will probably add another free agent running back soon.
One of Trenton Cannon or Latavius Murray to Join the Ravens Too
According to Josina Anderson from USA Today, that man will be Trenton Cannon, a running back who spent some time with the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers, and who was mostly used on special teams.
In the same USA Today report, Anderson said that Latavius Murray was also an option for the Ravens after he was released by the New Orleans Saints. According to Anderson, the free agent was ready to talk to the Ravens to negotiate his eventual arrival in Baltimore.
Bell Topped a Three-Man Shortlist
Before going for Le’Veon Bell, the Ravens sounded out Devonta Freeman, a former Atlanta Falcons running back, and two-time Pro-Bowler. They also talked to Elijah Holyfield, who used to be a backup running back while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, even though the Ravens considered adding either one of Freeman and Holyfield, they decided to go with Bell as the most suitable player to alleviate their running back problems.
Not an Automatic Starter Though
When Bell joins his new teammates, he will be the most famous running back on their roster. That won’t automatically make him a starter, though. He will have to work hard and wait for his turn to come to start games for the Ravens.
Currently, Gus Edwards is the shoo-in to start the season as running back for the Ravens, as he has impressed in the last two seasons in which he had to share his minutes on the field with Mark Ingram.
In his three seasons as a professional footballer, Edwards has had 5.0 yards per rush and posted 700 rushing yards. That means he is the ideal player to be alongside Lamar Jackson, the quarterback that won the NFL MVP award in 2019.
Bell Will Get His Game Time
However, to expect that Bell would remain a peripheral figure in Baltimore is unrealistic, as he comes with bags of experience when it comes to catching passes.
While with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Le’Veon Bell was an All-Pro player and posted north of 600 receiving yards per season. In contrast, the likely Ravens’ starter, Gus Edwards only has 18 receptions and that number is for his three NFL seasons combined.
So, what can Ravens fans expect from the new signing? Well, Bell definitely won’t be the player he was in Pittsburgh, especially after his disastrous spell with the New York Jets. However, the 29-year-old still has a lot to offer, and the Ravens have made a very smart move in acquiring him.