OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A day after the Baltimore Ravens lost running back J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending Achilles injury, coach John Harbaugh said Monday that the team will not look to add a running back outside the organization and will use a committee in the backfield going forward.
Former Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon III will get promoted from the practice squad to join Gus Edwards and Justice Hill in the Baltimore backfield. In Sunday’s 25-9 victory over the Houston Texans, Edwards received a majority of the snaps on early downs (32 yards on eight carries), and Hill surprisingly was given most of the touches in the red zone (scoring two touchdowns).
“I pretty much consider all the guys starters, really, just being truthful about it,” Harbaugh said. “They all have to be able to play that well. They’re on the team for a reason — it’s because they’re good enough to do it, and all those backs are going to play quite a bit.”
Gordon, 30, signed a one-year, $1.1165 million contract, which included no guaranteed money, just before the start of training camp but was released last week when the Ravens cut their roster down to 53 players. Now, he’s back on the active roster after spending one week on the practice squad.
Last season, Gordon ran for 318 yards and two touchdowns in a limited role with the Denver Broncos.
“He’s here for a reason and certainly didn’t expect it to be this quick, but that’s why he’s here and that’s why he wanted to stay here,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a proven back, so I’m very, very glad that he’s here.”
In the past couple of years, the Ravens have added veteran running backs to address injuries, signing the likes of Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, Kenyan Drake and Le’Veon Bell.
But Baltimore is not looking to acquire another running back, Harbaugh said. The top available running back had been the Indianapolis Colts‘ Jonathan Taylor, who recently was available via a trade and is on the physically unable to perform list.
“I think we’re good,” Harbaugh said. “I like the guys we’ve got.”
With Dobbins headed to injured reserve, the Ravens could be without as many six starters for Sunday’s game against the two-time defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals. Safety Marcus Williams (pectoral muscle), offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (knee), center Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot) and tight end Mark Andrews (quadricep) will all be on the injury report this week.
Williams is considering surgery.
“He’ll be out for a while,” Harbaugh said. “It may not be a season-ender, though.”
Stanley and Linderbaum are considered “week-to-week,” according to Harbaugh. Humphrey and Andrews both have a chance at returning for Sunday’s game after being sidelined for the opener.