Bernard Scott has spent more than a year trying to work his way back to the football field.
He tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in Week 5 last year with the Cincinnati Bengals, ending his fourth NFL season prematurely. The Bengals then decided to cut him in September, creating a murky future for the running back out of Abilene Christian.
After spending the first half of this season watching from home – he had tryouts for the Ravens and Raiders – Scott finally got the call he had been waiting for from Baltimore.
"It feels good, just to get another opportunity to get back on the field," Scott said. "It was just a waiting game."
The Ravens signed the 29-year-old Scott on Monday and he will complement Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce in the backfield. He is a speedy back that brings a different running style than the two options the Ravens already have on the roster.
"I feel like I'm good out of the backfield in space, and I just feel like I'm going to do whatever I can to get on the field to help the team get [wins]," Scott said.
A question for Scott coming into this year was the health of his knee after the ACL surgery. With ample time to recover, he is confident that he is joining the Ravens healthy.
"I feel good. I went through a hard rehab," Scott said. "My leg is stronger than ever."
He started practicing Monday and he could potentially be ready to make his debut this week.
"We'll just have to see how it plays out, and it's hard to say," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "But, we're going to get him ready as quickly as we can, and there's no reason he can't be ready and up to speed very rapidly."
Whether Scott is able to play this week will depend on how quickly he picks up the new playbook and adjusts to the offense. By signing with the Ravens Monday, Scott did have the benefit of getting an extra day of practice to begin preparations for Sunday's game against the Browns.
"He knows what to expect from the league and things like that," fullback Vonta Leach said. "You just help him with the plays and our terminology."
Another role Scott could potentially play is special teams, as the offensive contributions for the No. 3 running back are often limited. Harbaugh has made it clear that the Ravens are looking for players who want to contribute on special teams, and Scott has previous experience as a gunner on kickoff return coverage.
"I'm willing to do whatever," Scott said. "I'm pretty versatile, so whatever special teams they need me on I'm willing to do."
Scott has played four years in the NFL, totaling 1,035 rushing yards and four touchdowns during that stretch. He has averaged 4.1 yards per carry throughout his career and his best season came in 2011 when he carried 112 times for 380 yards.
"I just want to come out here and make plays when my number is called and help the Ravens get back on the winning track," Scott said.