In an ugly win over the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice suffered a hip flexor injury that has fans and fantasy owners worried. Rice did not practice Wednesday, leaving his status for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans in doubt.
Here’s the problem, though: So far this season, Rice has been under-utilized. If the offense continues at this rate, Rice’s presence on the field won’t even matter to the Ravens. Why worry about a guy that you fail to give the ball on a consistent basis?
My problem with Baltimore right now is that quarterback Joe Flacco is throwing way too many passes. Why is he being forced to throw so much when the Ravens’ wide receiver depth is so depleted at the moment? Not to mention, Rice and Bernard Pierce are one heck of a running back duo.
So far through two games, Rice has 25 carries, giving him an average of just 12.5 per game. Sure, he has 11 catches on the year — that part, at least, the Ravens are getting right. But, how do you expect Rice to get anything going on the ground when his carries are being so spread out, and he’s totaling less than 13 per game?
I’m not sure what’s going on in Baltimore, but when you have one of the best backs in the game, it’s pretty simple: You use him. The Ravens are not doing it nearly enough, and depending on Flacco way too much. This is exactly what I had a problem with early on last season, but fortunately the Ravens figured it out and, well, the rest is history.
So, if Rice misses Sunday’s game, at this rate, would it matter all that much? Sadly, probably not. Until the Ravens allow Rice more carries, they’ll suffer regardless of whether or not he’s on the field.