Baltimore Ravens: Does Terrance West have a future role?

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Terrance West
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Terrance West /

Running back Terrance West will return from injury in Week 11 against the Green Bay Packers. Does he have a role with the Baltimore Ravens beyond this season?

Terrance West was set to be the featured back for the Baltimore Ravens after a knee injury ended Kenneth Dixon’s second season before it even began. His only other competition was third-year back Javorius Allen and newly acquired Danny Woodhead. Allen was seemingly on the outside looking in from the roster bubble before the injury to Dixon, and Woodhead is primarily a pass catcher from the backfield. West had a firm grip on the starting job for the 2017 season.

That is, until the Ravens signed former Seahawks running back Alex Collins from the practice squad. Collins was electric from his first touch in Week 3 against Jacksonville and, if not for early fumbling issues, would’ve seen more snaps early on.

Since then, he has become the undisputed starting running back and possibly the future at the position for the Ravens. So what does this mean for West, who will return in Week 11 after missing several games?

West would be a great No. 2 back moving forward. The problem is that the Ravens probably like their other options a lot better. Dixon was predicted by many to have a breakout season in store this year, resulting in him taking the role from West. He’s younger and has a much higher ceiling than West. Many people thought Dixon was the future at running back for Baltimore, so it will be interesting to see the battle between him and Collins when he returns next year.

Buck Allen has become the go-to pass-catching back with Woodhead sidelined since Week 1. He is a much better blocker than West as well. Allen is also a key contributor to special teams. His varied contributions make him valuable and worth keeping in my opinion. West does not possess the same versatility.

Woodhead will have a place on this team as long as he is healthy. He has proven to be a reliable chain mover and can really help Joe Flacco. I think going forward, Alex Collins and Kenneth Dixon will be the one-two punch at running back with Woodhead and Allen contributing more in the passing game and pass protection.

Next: NFL 2017: 20 Bold predictions for Week 11

This leaves West as the odd man out. I do not think the Ravens will bring him back for next year. It’s unfortunate but that’s the nature of the business. I hope to see West succeed in this league, even if it’s not with the Ravens.