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Ravens Take It Easy With Rice

The Ravens barely played Ray Rice last week against the Panthers. They could do it again.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Thursday, August 19th, 2010 at 10:26 am | Categories: Mike Duffy

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The Ravens’ leading offensive generator, Ray Rice, didn’t get a single touch in Baltimore’s 17-12 win over the Carolina Panthers last week.

According to Head Coach John Harbaugh, that plan could continue Saturday against the Washington Redskins, whether Rice is tapping him on the shoulder or not.

“Ray’s a competitor,” Harbaugh said.  ”He wants to play, and we’ll be smart with Ray. He’ll play as much as he needs to in the next few games, but Ray is going to play a lot in the regular season, too.”

Rice, who finished second in the NFL with 2,041 yards from scrimmage last year, isn’t worried about his playing time after getting only a few snaps against Carolina.

The former second-round draft pick thinks that his hard work and physical nature in practice every day will bring him up to game speed by the time Baltimore opens its season opener Sept. 13 against the New York Jets.

That’s not to say he doesn’t want to play, but any action before Week 1 is just gravy.

“Our schedule is pretty brutal, and I know I get tackled enough in practice,” Rice explained.  ”I feel like I take live reps in practice.  I feel like those are game reps, so that really helps me get ready for the live hits on gameday.

“However much they want to put me out there, I’m going to go out and give it 100 percent.  Until then, I’m going to work hard in practice.”

Rice did admit that he’s anxious to face another team after only seeing purple and white jerseys all offseason.

“It’s always great to see another color,” said Rice.  ”But one thing about our team is that we’re gelling right now, and I think they trust me and trust that I’m going to be ready.  The coaches know that I’m always polishing my game, whether that’s in the film room, on the practice field, or in the game.

“If they need me to get a game rep to work on my blocking or something like that, that’s cool with me.”

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