What would Ravens fourth-round rookie running back Javorius Allen have said at the beginning of the season if he were told he'd be the team's starter in Week 6?
"I probably would have laughed," Allen said Thursday.
Ravens Pro Bowl running back Justin Forsett didn't practice for the second straight day Thursday, seemingly pushing the door open wider for Allen to have a busy Sunday in San Francisco.
With Lorenzo Taliaferro placed on injured reserve this week because of a foot injury, Allen is the only other running back on the roster who has a regular-season carry in his career.
The Ravens' other two options would be recently signed undrafted rookie Raheem Mostert or promoting Terrence Magee, another undrafted rookie who at least spent the summer with the team, to the 53-man roster.
"God works in mysterious ways," Allen said.
The 6-foot-0, 220-pound USC product is averaging 4.8 yards per carry this season. He's gained 124 yards on 26 attempts and caught two passes for 6 yards. He has yet to find the end zone.
Allen's best game came last week when he ripped off a career-long 44-yard run, including running through one arm tackle before scampering up the sideline. He finished with eight carries for 58 yards.
However, the Ravens running attack certainly slowed once Forsett limped out of the game and Allen took over just 10 yards from the end zone. Allen ran twice for 5 yards at the end of regulation and the Ravens had to settle for a game-tying field goal. He ran once for no gain in overtime.
"No. 1, we have a lot of confidence in 'Buck,'" Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman said.
Trestman said they've seen Allen grow in the classroom and says the rookie is seeing the holes and finishing plays better on the field. Trestman has also seen his pass protection improve, something Allen also pointed to on Wednesday.
"His entire focus [has improved]," Trestman said. "He is taking the opportunity to seize the moment with the opportunities that he has had."
Allen has a very serious, mature nature. He doesn't seem to get too high or too low. He said he doesn't feel any additional pressure if he's called on to start.
"If I have to take on the job, I'm going to take it on full force and do it to the best of my ability," Allen said.
"I feel like if I do everything I need to do in practice – make the right read, pick up the right blitz – when I go out there on game day it'll be second nature. I'm not going to go out there and panic. There's nothing to be afraid of."