The Baltimore Ravens have one of the most talented running back duos in the NFL in Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, but both have been colossal disappointments so far this season. A lot of that is because of an offensive line that has generated absolutely no push in the running game, and the line has actually been the worst part of this offense so far this year. That has hurt the ability of Rice to put up solid fantasy numbers, but he has also been slowed by a nagging hip flexor injury that is more severe than he initially stated. Before the Week 7 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rice stated that he feels better and that his hip injury was more severe than it looked. Hip flexor strains are injuries that we need to pay closer attention to, because they have a tendency to be extremely nagging, especially if a player pushes too hard to return; I think that’s what happened to Rice.
According to the NFL Network’s Chris Wesseling, Ray Rice told WBAL-TV’s Ravens sportscaster Gerry Sandusky that his “early-season injuries” (presumably his hip injury, but he may have also suffered a leg injury) were worse than he initially admitted. Rice also stated that he is now at 100% and is ready to prove those who believe that he is a declining player wrong.
It’s clear that Rice’s hip injury has hurt his agility significantly, which becomes an even more glaring problem when the Ravens offensive line is blocking as poorly as they have been this year. Rice is healthy following a bye week to rest, but he has a tough run defense ahead of him this week in the Cleveland Browns. I think this is the week he gets back on track, and it’s great to hear that both Pierce and Rice have finally declared themselves 100%.