Justin Forsett of the Ravens is among a group of 30-plus running backs trying to prove that age is just a number.
Adrian Peterson of the Vikings led the league in rushing (1,485 yards) in 2015 at age 30. And through the first nine weeks of the 2015 season, four other 30-plus running backs were on pace to reach 1,000 yards – Forsett, Frank Gore of the Colts, Chris Johnson of the Cardinals, and DeAngelo Williams of the Steelers.
None of those four reached 1,000 yards, largely due to injuries. Forsett’s season ended in Week 11 when he broke his arm against the Rams. Forsett, who turned 30 years old in October, finished with 641 yards for the season and averaged 4.2 yards per carry.
Forsett’s injury elevated rookie Buck Allen to the starting running back position, and Allen (514 yards) showed his potential with a solid season. However, Forsett still averaged more yards per carry than Allen (3.8). With Forsett expected to make a full recovery from his injury, there is no doubt he intends to reclaim his position as the starter, which could make for interesting competition during training camp.
With Forsett, Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Terrance West, the Ravens have plenty of depth at running back. That has raised the question of whether Forsett might be a salary cap casualty, but that’s an unlikely scenario. Cutting Forsett would only save the Ravens $2.3 million in cap space, and leave them with $1.4 million in dead money. Taliaferro has been injury-prone, Allen had some fumbling issues last season, and the Browns and Titans both gave up on West before the Ravens signed him.
Forsett is reliable with a tremendous work ethic, and he is highly respected in the locker room. The Ravens have enough depth to keep Forsett’s legs fresh, and it’s possible he could have another 1,000-yard season if he stays healthy.
Forsett’s good friend, running back Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks, recently let it be known that he planned to retire at age 29. However, Forsett and other running backs over 30 are determined to show that they still have plenty left.