Baltimore's transaction Saturday afternoon to activate running back Alex Collins to the 53-man roster didn't generate too much buzz.
But when the second-year running back took the field in the second half against the Browns, he caught just about everyone's attention at M&T Bank Stadium. He flashed good speed and vision in his limited action as he carried seven times for 42 yards.
"He had a little bit of quickness and speed," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He was kind of fresh at the end, and I thought it gave us something in the fourth quarter, against a defense that was playing fourth-quarter football."
Harbaugh certainly took notice of Collins' strong debut. The Ravens have been looking for someone to rise to the top in their rotation of running backs, and Collins will likely get more chances to show what he can do.
"I think he earned [more snaps]," Harbaugh said. "When you play well you earn more playing time."
The miscue for Collins was he coughed up of the football on his final carry late in the fourth quarter. He was fighting for extra yards when a defender forced the fumble, and Harbaugh routinely stresses the importance of protecting the football.
"He'll have to hold onto that football, but I feel like it was over-exuberance trying to break that tackle," Harbaugh said. "He has to understand the situation. We're a north-south, high-and-tight type of an operation anyway. But he's capable of making guys miss. He showed that."
Collins, who joined the Ravens practice squad Sept. 5, was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round last season. He spent last season on their 53-man roster before getting released at the end of this year's training camp.
Collins played in 11 games as a rookie and carried 31 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. He'll be in the rotation along with Terrance West and Javorius Allen. West is reportedly dealing with "soft-tissue" injury, according to The Baltimore Sun, which could open the door for Collins even more.
Collins had eight snaps Sunday compared to 15 for West and 43 for Allen.
"Between those three guys, I think we have three guys who can carry the ball for us," Harbaugh said.