"I asked him about it, and he was cool with it," West said.
Rice became the second-leading rusher in Ravens history while wearing No. 27 for six seasons. He was abruptly released last year after his highly publicized domestic incident.
West, a Baltimore native, considers Rice a friend since he played for nearby Towson University and talks to him about once a week.
"He's helped me a lot in my career," West said.
West wore No. 42 last week when he signed with the Ravens' practice squad. After getting promoted to the 53-man roster, he wanted to get No. 28, the number he wore at Towson and with the Cleveland Browns last season. But safety Brynden Trawick has had that number for the past three seasons.
So, West asked for any number in the 20s, and No. 27 became available after reserve cornerback Asa Jackson was injury-waived Tuesday. Now, 14 months after Rice wore that number, another Ravens running back is donning No. 27.