OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens running back Terrance West participated in the first bye week practice and appears to be eyeing a return for the Nov. 19 game at Green Bay.
What is more uncertain is how West fits into a Ravens backfield where Alex Collins has a tight grip on the starting job.
Asked if he's asked the coaches about he'll be used, West said, "That’s a good question. We will see how it goes. My main focus is whenever my number is called, I have to take advantage of the opportunity."
West started 17 of the Ravens' 18 games before being sidelined with a left calf injury. As a starter, West gained 838 yards rushing (which ranked No. 20 in the NFL over that span) and scored seven touchdowns.
Baltimore's backfield will suddenly get crowded if West is healthy enough to play and Danny Woodhead (hamstring) is activated off injured reserve next week. The Ravens would then have five running backs in Collins, West, Woodhead, Buck Allen and Bobby Rainey.
Collins and West are both physical lead backs. Woodhead and Allen are assets in the passing game. And Rainey is a reserve back who can return punts and kickoffs.
Are the Ravens going to be able to hold on to all five backs? Or will some decisions need to be made?
"That is a great question, and that is something that we will have to talk about going forward, and it won’t just be based on the running back position," coach John Harbaugh. "It will be based on how many guys we can carry at other spots and what other injuries we might have. Those are all guys that we want to keep on the team. They are all guys that can contribute, and I am looking forward to that conversation, because it is coming real quick."
In West's absence, Collins has gained 260 yards rushing (ninth most in the NFL over that span). For the season, Collins is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, which ranks second in the league.
"Alex Collins is doing a great job," West said. "He’s explosive. He’s taking advantage of his opportunity. I take my hat off to him. Whenever my number is called, I have to do my thing. That’s my attitude for the rest of the year."
West, a Baltimore native, is a restricted free agent who is earning $1.797 million this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.
This season, West has totaled 138 yards on 39 carries (3.5 yards per carry) while batting injuries. He's dealt with a knee contusion and a hamstring issue before a calf injury caused him to miss four games.
"I still have to get going," West said after Tuesday's practice. "It's my first day back. It’s a good head start for next week."
West acknowledged he's excited to see where he fits into the offense.
"I can’t wait," West said. "I can’t wait to see myself."