Justin Forsett 'Ready To Seize The Moment'

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With top running back Ray Rice released, the Ravens now have Justin Forsett, Bernard Pierce and rookie fourth-round pick Lorenzo Taliaferro on the depth chart at running back.

If Sunday's regular-season opener (when Rice was already out due to suspension) is any indication, Forsett and Pierce will be the featured backs, perhaps with Forsett taking the lead.

"I'm ready to seize the moment," Forsett said Monday.

"My job is to go out and perform when my number is called. I'm just excited about the opportunity. I thank God for it, and hopefully there will be some great things to come on Thursday night."

Pierce was already expected to be a major part of the ground attack. After signing a one-year contract with the Ravens this offseason, Forsett didn't enter the season with that kind of expectation. But he's in the spotlight now.

Forsett's performance in the Ravens' Week 1 loss gives hope that Baltimore will still be able to run the ball effectively.

The seven-year pro rushed 11 times for 70 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals. He scored from 13 yards out to pull the Ravens to only eight points behind.

"I wasn't surprised to see what he did," fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. "All training camp, that's the stuff he did. He's a hard worker, always on top of his assignments, runs hard. To do it in a game it reaffirmed everything we've seen in practice."

Forsett, 28, had just six rushing attempts last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played through injuries, suited up for just nine games, and was placed on injured reserve in December with a broken foot. The Jaguars released him in March.

The Ravens inked Forsett in early April and he impressed with his quickness throughout training camp and the preseason.

Forsett also has a strong understanding of new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak's system. Forsett spent the 2012 season with the Houston Texans and Kubiak. He had his best season then, rushing 63 times for 374 yards (a career-high 5.9 yards per carry) and one touchdown.

"I've been in this offense for a while now. I'm very comfortable with it. I feel like it can really help my versatility, going out wide and catching passes and running the ball. I love it."

Forsett got the lion's share of carries Sunday against the Bengals in part because Peirce was sidelined in the second quarter after fumbling. But even before that, Forsett and Pierce were splitting the snaps.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked who the starting running back will be on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harbaugh didn't want to give away information. Pierce is listed atop the newest depth chart, followed by Forsett.

"Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett – they'll both play a lot," he said. "Lorenzo Taliaferro will be a big part of it, too."

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