Mink: No, I do not expect the Ravens to bring in Todd Gurley or Le'Veon Bell because they like their options on the roster more. Gurley and Bell are big names who have had a lot of success in this league. I get it. But you've got to look at the player they are now, not the guy they were a couple years ago.
Baltimore brought Gurley in for a visit months ago and presumably got an up-close look at the condition of his knees, which have been a lingering problem for the former All-Pro for years. The Ravens didn't make a move then for a reason. Bell hardly cracked the field last season, split between the Chiefs and Jets. He ran for 328 yards in 11 games and averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry.
The Ravens like the fresher, younger legs of Ty'Son Williams and Justice Hill more, and they have the advantage of already being on Baltimore's roster and knowing the system. If Williams hadn't played so well in the preseason, maybe the Ravens would take a flier on a veteran, hoping he had some more gas left in the tank. But Williams erased the need.
Downing: Mink mentioned Williams above, and it looks like he's in line for the No. 2 job. Head Coach John Harbaugh said earlier this week that Williams "will be out there playing," and Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said the Ravens want to use a backfield-by-committee approach to split up workload. Gus Edwards will get the biggest piece of that pie, but the Ravens run the ball more than any team in the league and that means Williams will get plenty of opportunities. Williams is a tough runner between the tackles, which makes him a nice fit for the No. 2 role behind Edwards.
Hill is also still on the roster, but he's spent the last couple weeks on the sideline dealing with an ankle injury. It's unclear exactly when he'll be ready to return. He's flashed his speed and ability in limited action the last two years, and he brings a different element with his pass-catching ability. Hill is a natural third-down back who can make plays in the passing game. The Ravens had high hopes for what Dobbins could do in the passing game, and they may now look for Hill to help offset the loss in that department.
Mink: Head Coach John Harbaugh's aim in the third preseason game was to get one series for the starting offense, which had hardly spent any time totally together this preseason due to injuries/COVID-19. Lamar Jackson said he wanted game reps and the Ravens probably wanted Ronnie Stanley to get some under his belt before Week 1 too. The intention was to give them one little tune-up, have them feeling good going into the regular season and then yank them. That would mean some exposure to risk, but not a whole lot. It was just supposed to be one series – probably less than a dozen snaps.
Disaster struck during that small window of opportunity and it surely had Harbaugh feeling sick. He acknowledged Tuesday that it's a valid conversation and he errors (more than most other NFL coaches) on the side of caution by benching his starters and biggest stars. We'll see if he benches them completely next offseason.
Downing: The old saying about an offensive lineman is that it's good if you never hear his name called. That's even more true for a long snapper. Moore has done a great job this summer of seamlessly stepping into his role as the team's starting long snapper with hardly any attention after Morgan Cox held the job for a decade. Justin Tucker and Sam Koch have both praised Moore for his ability and the kicking game was solid as usual during the preseason. The Ravens felt comfortable moving on from Cox this offseason because they liked what they had in Moore, and he's showing that he can step into the Wolfpack without missing a beat.