Alex Collins to remain Ravens' featured back despite others returning

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Alex Collins' role as the Baltimore Ravens' featured running back won't be affected by the return of Terrance West and Danny Woodhead, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Thursday.

Collins has started the past four games for the Ravens and ranks second among NFL running backs, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Baltimore's backfield has become more crowded coming off the bye with West (calf) and Woodhead (hamstring) returning to practice.

Asked whether Collins will remain the featured back, Mornhinweg said, "Yeah, he's done good job, hasn't he? He's gotten better every week. He's getting better at the details as well, so we can utilize him in more ways. Certainly, he'll be a featured guy."

Collins has been one of the biggest surprises for Baltimore. After getting cut by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the preseason, Collins joined the Ravens' practice squad in Week 1, got promoted to the 53-man roster by Week 2 and made his first start in Week 4.

West was the Ravens' leading rusher last year and started the first three games of the season before hurting his calf. He was a full participant in Wednesday's practice.

Woodhead, who is more of a pass-catching back, has been practicing for the past two weeks. He was placed on injured reserve after the season opener, when he aggravated a hamstring injury.

Mornhinweg wouldn't say how the injured backs would be integrated back into the offense.

"We'll see how healthy they are first," he said. "So this week of practice is important for them. Everybody we can get back will certainly help us."