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Javorius Allen Excels As New Ravens Starting Running Back


He's just a little more than midway through his rookie season, but Ravens fourth-round running back Javorius Allen is already well-versed in the "next man up" mantra.

In a season full of injuries, the keys to Baltimore's running game have been passed to Allen, who will replace Justin Forsett after the Ravens' Pro Bowl starting running back broke two bones in his right arm during Sunday's 16-13 win over the Rams.

Good news is, Allen made a good pitch in his first opportunity, showing that he's ready for the part.

Allen took over for Forsett in the first quarter of Sunday's game and finished with a team-high 115 total yards. He had 22 rushes for 67 yards and five catches for 48 yards.

 "He played like a top-caliber NFL running back," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He made guys miss. He made plays in the passing game, plays in the run game."

The rookie churned out 12 yards on the Ravens' final drive, setting up Justin Tucker's game-winning field goal. Allen had 22 yards, including a 14-yard catch and run, on Baltimore's only touchdown drive of the game in the fourth quarter.

Allen has shown good vision and a tough running style throughout his rookie season. The 6-foot-0, 220-pound USC product took over the backup job and excelled after Lorenzo Taliaferro was lost for the season with a foot injury.

"They brought me here for a reason, to go out there and do my job, which I feel like I did a good job of today," Allen said.

Allen was asked if he thinks he's ready to carry the load now.

"Yes, sir," he said. "Most definitely. If that's something I'll have to do, then I'll step up and do it."

Allen has been studying under Forsett throughout the year. He still expects Forsett to be in his ear the rest of the season, helping him watch film and giving any tips.

"It hurts to see somebody put in that much work and get hurt," Allen said. "I knew I had to go out there and step up."

In his final year at USC, Allen showed he can put up major production. He had 276 carries for a team-best 1,489 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing. He also caught 41 passes for 458 yards and a score.

His 1,489 rushing yards rank ninth on USC's single-season list and are the most by a Trojan since Reggie Bush in 2005. He was the first Trojan with six straight 100-yard rushing games since NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen had 11 straight in 1981.

With quarterback Joe Flacco also out for the rest of the year, the Ravens may lean more heavily on the ground game. Baltimore went with the ground game near the end of Sunday's contest.

"We just kept hammering, kept banging," Harbaugh said. "We finally cracked a little bit at the end of the game."

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