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A scenario that hasn’t been brought up around Baltimore is the possibility of running back Anthony Allen not only being Ray Rice’s backup, but the featured back for some period of time.
That could happen during mini camps, training camp or (less likely) the season, if Rice opted to hold out in protest of his franchise tag.
It’s something Head Coach John Harbaugh has thought about.
“Anthony Allen goes from third and mostly injured reserve because you had two veteran guys, to potentially No. 1 if something happens,” Harbaugh said Tuesday morning at the owners meetings.
“We think a lot of him, we think a lot of Damien Berry. We think they’re going to have very good seasons. But we’ve got to look at some insurance too. We’ve got to have more than two running backs on our roster, so we’ll add some guys.”
The Ravens could opt to sign a free-agent running back – although they have little room under the salary cap – or draft more talent.
A reporter asked about former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, who was released by the Giants after winning the Super Bowl.
“He’s on the list,” Harbaugh said with a grin. “Brandon Jacobs is definitely on the list.”
The Ravens have a list of every free-agent running back, so saying Jacobs is on it reveals little. The big bruiser (6-foot-4, 264 pounds) ran 152 times for 571 yards and seven touchdowns last year.
There’s always the possibility that Ricky Williams, who surprisingly retired in early February, could return. Williams himself didn’t rule that out at the time.
Harbaugh said he has not spoken with Williams since a couple days after he made the decision, then joked about his whereabouts.
“Where is he? Is he in the United States?” Harbaugh joked before looking into a video camera. “Ricky, where are you? We’re looking for you Ricky Williams.”
The head coach did acknowledge that Rice could hold out. He expects Rice to handle it with maturity.
“I don’t know what their strategy will be, if they feel like they even need a strategy,” Harbaugh said of Rice and his agent, Todd France. “That kind of goes back to the agent more than the player.
“But Ray Rice is a man. He loves football. He wants to be in there with his teammates. I’m hoping he’ll be there from Day One. I would expect him to be there from Day One. But if he’s not, I’m not going to hold it against him as a coach. We just need the best Ray Rice that’s possible for the first game.”