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Ravens Plan To Add Running Back Depth


Expect the Ravens to add at least one more running back in the next few weeks.

Baltimore already re-signed veteran Justin Forsett, but the team has its eye on bringing additional options into the backfield.

"We need more running back depth," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday at the NFL Owner's Meetings.

The need for backfield depth increased last week when the Ravens cut fourth-year back Bernard Pierce following his arrest on drunken driving charges. The Ravens now have Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Tauren Poole and FitzGerald Toussaint (exclusive rights free agent) on the roster.

Taliaferro, 23, was a fourth-round pick last year who showed bright spots backing up Forsett. He saw action in 13 games before a foot injury landed him on injured reserve, and he finished the year with 68 carries for 292 yards and four touchdowns.

The 226-pound back is known as a powerful rusher, especially in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

Toussaint, 24, is also heading into his second season. He initially made the team as an undrafted prospect out of Michigan, and then spent the year floating between the practice squad and 53-man roster. Toussaint's playing time increased later in the season, and he finished the year with just 12 rushing yards on six carries.

If the Ravens decide to go the free-agency route to pick up a running back, they could likely get a veteran at a discounted price now that the initial spending wave has passed. Some of the backs still available include Pierre Thomas, Steven Jackson and Stevan Ridley.

Harbaugh said the Ravens are staying on top of free agency "every second," and he indicated that the Ravens will add a player if it's the right fit.

"Obviously, the more you can add before the draft, it takes pressure off of the draft to chase a position need," he said. "The more we can do that, obviously, the better off we'll be."

If the Ravens end up waiting for the draft to pick up another running back, they could have plenty of options with this year's class. Top running backs are often available in the second or third rounds – Seattle's Marshawn Lynch was the only running back in the top 10 in rushing last year who was a first-round pick – which will give the Ravens some flexibility.

The Ravens indicated even before releasing Pierce that they would add young depth to their backfield, and* *this year's draft class  will likely give them the opportunity to make that move.

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