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Will the Ravens regret losing Bobby Rainey?

The Baltimore Ravens hope they won't be regretting a decision they made 14 months ago when they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

In late August 2013, the Ravens waived running back Bobby Rainey, who eventually landed with the Buccaneers and leads the team in rushing this year.

It was the Ravens' most surprising cut that year because it looked like Rainey had earned a spot after breaking tackles and scoring two touchdowns in the preseason finale. Instead, the Ravens kept just two running backs (Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce) and decided to go with other promising young players who didn't pan out: wide receivers Aaron Mellette and LaQuan Williams, both of whom are no longer on the team, and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, who didn't play in 2013 and is now on the practice squad.

"It was unfortunate that we lost him," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. "We really wanted him to be here to be a part of what we were doing, but he was claimed and we had to make a move there. I don’t know what happened, [but] he somehow got down to Tampa Bay, and the rest is history."

The Ravens tried to sneak Rainey on the practice squad, but the Cleveland Browns claimed him. Rainey spent seven weeks with the Browns before being cut and claimed by the Buccaneers.

Rainey ranks 25th in the NFL with 220 yards rushing and is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He was benched two weeks ago when he fumbled twice, and he is now splitting carries with Doug Martin.

It's unknown how much of an impact Rainey would be making for the Ravens if they had kept him. The Ravens have the No. 12 rushing attack in the NFL with a committee of Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Pierce.

Rainey did leave a lasting impression on the Ravens defense.

"We know Bobby Rainey, we know what he's capable of doing," Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb said. "We all wish [he] could have stayed around here. We know how much he loves the game. He's passionate about the game. We've got to attack him and be on him. He's a great back. He's got juke moves and he'll try to run you over."