If a mother-to-be can be said to be eating for two, then the Ravens Bernard Pierce is now running for two.
The rookie running back became a father earlier this month, when his fiance, Stacey Holloway, gave birth to Bernard Jr.
"I'd say it feels like your birthday," he said, according to CBSSports.com. "It comes one time a year. I know this is my day. But it's really not your birthday. I was overwhelmed, excited. I really can't totally explain the feeling because it's something I've never felt before."
Bernard Jr.s impending arrival had a big influence on Pierces football career. If hed been leaning toward entering the NFL after a big junior year with Temple (1,481 yards rushing, 27 touchdowns), knowing he was going to be a father sealed the decision.
"It was taking another step," Pierce said. "It was providing that security, knowing that she's fine, knowing she doesn't have to do anything. I'll help her out until she gets back on her feet and I'll be able to support my son."
Pierce went in the third round of the draft and got a 550,000 signing bonus, so Little Bernard should be covered for diapers for a while.
The assumption was that Pierce would take hold of the No. 2 running back slot behind Ray Rice. That hasnt happened yet. Slowed by a hamstring issue, he missed the preseason opener. His competition is Anthony Allen, Damien Berry and Bobby Rainey.
Pierce returned to practice on Saturday after missing almost two weeks, but coach John Harbaugh said (via baltimoreravens.com): Its not that hes behind or anything like that. Hes just going to have to do well with the reps and opportunities that he gets, and thats going to be his body of work.