As we countdown to training camp, Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka will take turns putting 25 key Ravens under the microscope this month.
They’ll speculate on a best-case, worst-case scenario for at least one player every day. They’ll begin with players looking to carve out a role, or a roster spot. They’ll end with the Ravens’ most important players, concluding with quarterback Joe Flacco on July 25.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - Justin Forsett, 30-year-old running back
Best-case scenario: Forsett is the Ravens No. 1 back all season and returns to his 1,000-yard form of 2014.
Why it could happen: Forsett is by far the most accomplished back on the roster. He was on pace for his second straight 1,000-yard season before suffering a season-ending broken arm last year. He has thrived under Juan Castillo's blocking schemes. He revived his career in Baltimore and his hungry after having his 2015 season cut short. If he averages more than 5 yards a carry, as he did during his 1,266-yard season of 2014, he'll be on the field a lot.
Worst-case scenario: Forsett loses his starting job.
Why it could happen: In October Forsett will turn 31, the age by which many running backs are on the decline. Granted, Forsett, who had just six carries in 2013 with Jacksonville, doesn't have nearly as much wear on his tires as many 30-something backs. Still, the Ravens also have a solid, young running back group led by Buck Allen and rookie Kenneth Dixon. Both are good receivers out of the backfield and could see extensive action. That gives the Ravens a lot of options and could take playing time and carries away from Forsett.