Head Coach John Harbaugh isn't closing the door on Trent Richardson's comeback.
Baltimore cut the running back Tuesday because a knee injury had kept him sidelined for all of training camp, but the team may consider bringing him back once he gets healthy.
"Trent has an opportunity to come back in the future," Harbaugh said after Wednesday's practice. "Ozzie [Newsome] had a conversation with him about that. I talked with him at length about a lot of things – about life and his career – but also the potential of coming back. He's definitely still on our radar."
The Ravens signed Richardson in April after he spent all of last year out of football. He re-committed himself to football this offseason and lost about 20 pounds before reporting to Baltimore. Injuries have plagued Richardson in his career and he dealt with hamstring and knee issues during his four months with the Ravens.
Richardson started training camp on the physically unable to perform list, and then injuries to Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) and Kenneth Dixon (knee) left the Ravens short-handed at running back. Baltimore signed running back Stephen Houston after cutting Richardson.
"We knew the knee was a problem when we first brought [Richardson] in. We were hopeful he would be able to work through it, but we just couldn't wait any longer," Harbaugh said. "We need the running back. We need the bodies out there practicing."
The former third-overall pick has struggled to live up to expectations during his career, and he has often found himself in the crossfires of criticism as a result.
Harbaugh took an unprompted moment to strongly defend Richardson.
"It's amazing to me the vitriol and really the hate out there," Harbaugh said. "All he's done is come in here and work as hard as he can, but he's got a knee [injury] and we're making a roster decision. He's done nothing wrong. He's still trying very hard. He's just a young guy who is trying his best to make it in this league. And because he was a top pick, I know that it definitely comes with more scrutiny. Certainly he understands that and he handles it really well.
"He's a good person. He wants to do well. He's a hard worker and there's a possibility at some time, some way, some fashion, he could come back here or somewhere else in the league."