<
>

John Harbaugh: Carries in Ravens' backfield are 'kind of unpredictable'

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh declined again to name Terrance West his featured back on Wednesday, refusing to tip his hand on who will carry the rushing load going forward.

The competition for carries looks like it will be between West and Kenneth Dixon.

West ran for a career-high 113 yards rushing last Sunday and should get the start against the Washington Redskins. Dixon, the team's best running back this preseason, will make his NFL debut Sunday after being sidelined with a sprained knee. The other option is Buck Allen, who backed up West last Sunday.

"I expect to get all the guys as many carries as we can," Harbaugh said. "How it shakes out -- who gets what carries -- is kind of unpredictable."

West became the Ravens' first 100-yard rusher since October 2015. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry, but he knows that doesn't necessarily mean he has secured a permanent spot in the starting lineup.

"The league is different than college," West said. "Each and every day in practice, somebody could lose their job any given day. So nobody's job is guaranteed."

One of the reasons why the Ravens are being noncommittal at running back is the return of Dixon. He was the most explosive runner in training camp and in the preseason before he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Aug. 27. The Ravens will likely bring along Dixon slowly and increase his carries in the coming weeks.

Dixon, who scored the second-most touchdowns in NCAA history, is ready to play in his first NFL game.

"I'm 100 percent confident in my knee and in my ability," he said.

Dixon continues to practice with a brace and might play with it during the game.

"The brace really doesn't bother me," Dixon said. "You just have to pick your legs up higher and run a little harder."

The Ravens are going with young legs in their backfield. After cutting 30-year-old Justin Forsett on Tuesday, none of the backs on the Ravens' roster is older than 25.

"All things considered, you do what's best for the team," Harbaugh said about the release of Forsett.