If rookie Buck Allen is going to be the Ravens’ No. 2 running back, he can’t fumble away a potential touchdown like he did Saturday night.
“It’s my job to hold onto the rock and get into the end zone,” Allen said after the Redskins’ 31-13 victory. “Put two hands on the ball and hold on tight. So I can’t blame (anybody) but myself.”
Allen appeared to be headed for a score just before halftime, but on fourth-and-goal from the one, he fumbled into the end zone and Chris Baker of the Redskins recovered. Meanwhile, undrafted rookie Terrence Magee (four carries, 13 yards) remained very much in the picture to make the 53-man roster, and to earn more carries in the preseason finale at Atlanta.
Asked about Allen, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he liked the effort, but that turnovers would not be tolerated.
“I thought he ran hard,” Harbaugh said. “He had some good pick-ups in pass protection, but you have to hold onto the football. As a running back, it’s just not possible to put runners out there that fumble the football. He’s going to have other opportunities and chances going forward, and I really believe he’s going to be a very good player. But he’s going to have to learn from that.”
The Ravens’ running game (55 yards) sputtered, but Magee showed flashes of the speed and power that has been evident since training camp began. With the status of Lorenzo Taliaferro (sprained knee) unknown for Week 1, the Ravens will likely take an extra running back to Denver to face the Broncos. Magee, an undrafted rookie from LSU, is showing he wants to be that guy. Fitz Toussaint is also in the mix at running back, but Toussaint did not have a carry Saturday night.
“He’s a hard runner,” Harbaugh said of Magee. “That’s probably what you see the most. He takes it North, South, and lowers his pads. And he looks like a Southeastern Conference runner out there. He’s very physical.”
However, Taliaferro's injury leaves the current depth chart behind starting running back Justin Forsett in flux. Just one of many questions the Ravens are looking to clarify as the regular season approaches.