Ravens' John Harbaugh hints at going running back by committee

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh insinuated the team could use more of a running back by committee approach when asked about Alex Collins' decreased role in Sunday's 12-9 loss to Cleveland.

Collins tied a season low by playing only 27 snaps despite breaking a couple of long runs and gaining 59 yards on 12 carries (4.9-yard average).

"A fresh running back is a good thing," Harbaugh said Monday. "I think running backs taking 40, 50 snaps is not necessarily a great thing. You talk about balance, put the ball in one guy's hands for 35 plays. I don't know if that's balance."

A season after finishing No. 11 in the NFL in rushing yards, Collins is currently 27th in the league with 217 yards.

His struggles come at a time when Baltimore has hit an offensive rut. The Ravens haven't scored a touchdown in 123 minutes of action. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree dropped two passes Sunday and had the potential winning touchdown pass bounce off his hands. Quarterback Joe Flacco played his worst game of the season Sunday, completing 51 percent of his passes and throwing a red zone interception.

Collins has fumbled twice this season, but Harbaugh gave him a vote of confidence last week. He wasn't listed on the injury report heading into the Browns' game despite missing a practice that week with a knee injury.

On Sunday, backup running back Buck Allen played nearly twice as much as Collins. On Monday, Harbaugh said he wants to see third-string back De'Lance Turner on the field more.

"We need to spread the load," Harbaugh said. "You want fresh guys out there playing hard."