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Ravens rookie RB Allen ready for starring role if needed


Ravens rookie RB Allen ready for starring role if needed

Ravens running back Javorius "Buck" Allen probably never expected to be a starter in Week 6 of his rookie season, but increasingly it appears that will be the case Sunday when the Ravens visit the 49ers.

Starter Justin Forsett has missed practice the past two days nursing the ankle injury he sustained against Cleveland on Sunday, and backup Lorenzo Taliaferro has been placed on season-ending injured reserve with a foot injury.

So if Forsett isn't available, that makes Allen the next man up. He said on Thursday that it's an "opportunity I’ve been waiting for, and I feel like my coaches did a great job preparing me for this moment."

Allen, a fourth-round pick out of USC, has 26 carries for 124 yards this season, including a 44-yard scamper against the Browns on Sunday that is the Ravens' longest run of the season.

The Ravens signed undrafted rookie Raheem Mostert off waivers earlier this week, and he'd become the No. 2 if Forsett is unavailable. Terrence Magee is on the Ravens practice squad and could be an option as a No. 3 back. That probably depends on Forsett's availability.

But Allen (6-0, 220) is likely to have the spotlight on him on Sunday. Even if Forsett plays, he won't be at 100 percent and Allen figures to be a major part of the game plan.

"It’s a blessing from above and God working in mysterious ways," Allen said. "If I’ve got to take on the job, I’m going to take it full force and do the best of my ability.”

Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said on Thursday that, "We have a lot of confidence in Buck. We’ve seen him grow in the classroom and certainly on the field over the last month and a half. He’s running the ball better in terms of how he’s finishing and seeing the holes, taking the opportunities to make plays when he gets a chance to do that. We’ve seen his pass protection improve, and his entire focus.

"He is taking the opportunity to seize the moment with the opportunities that he has had.”

MORE RAVENS: Frustrated defensive coordinator Pees hopes better play on horizon

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What the Marcus Peters trade means and how it shows the Ravens are making 2019 a priority

What the Marcus Peters trade means and how it shows the Ravens are making 2019 a priority

The Ravens have a problem in the secondary; no one can stay healthy. 

Baltimore suffered season-ending injuries to Iman Marshall and Tavon Young at cornerback and Tony Jefferson and DeShon Elliott at safety. Cornerback Jimmy Smith hasn’t played since Week 1 with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and Maurice Canady currently has a hamstring injury, coach John Harbaugh said. 

So on Monday, the Ravens traded for cornerback Marcus Peters from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for linebacker Kenny Young and an undisclosed 2020 draft pick. 

Peters, 26, is in his fifth year as a pro and is in the final year of his rookie deal that is paying him just over $9 million against the cap this season. 

A true ballhawk, Peters has an NFL-best 24 interceptions since he entered the league in 2015 as a first round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Peters was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 and was a Second Team All-Pro that season. He was a First Team All-Pro a year later. 

With a host of injuries at cornerback and in the secondary the Ravens will likely use Peters right away opposite Marlon Humphrey, who has been one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks this season. Peters excels at turning the ball over, something safety Earl Thomas did in Seattle and a statistic in which the Ravens coaches have expressed a desire to improve.

The Ravens rank 13th in yards allowed per game, 30th in yards per play against and 25th in pass defense. Peters figures to help out in those departments.

Smith is expected to return sooner rather than later in the secondary, meaning the Ravens will have to find a way to get Humphrey, Peters, Smith and Brandon Carr on the field in a positive way.

And while Peters’ contract is up at the end of the season, the final 10 games could be a tryout to see how he fits into the team’s short-term and long-term plans. Should he impress, it’s not inconceivable the Ravens could re-sign him and make he, Humphrey and Young the team’s top three cornerbacks headed into the 2020 season.

If they don’t, they’ll be awarded a compensatory pick in 2021. As for what round, that will depend on how much Peters signs for. 

Either way, the move is an aggressive one to shore up a notable area of concern for the Ravens this season. It adds a cornerback who has had incredible success in his young career and adds a piece in the secondary to pair opposite Humphrey. 

The price wasn’t hefty, either. The Ravens moved on from Kenny Young, a linebacker who had fallen out of their plans, and a 2020 draft pick, one of many they possess next year. 

It’s a true low-risk, high-reward situation for a team that still thinks it can contend this season.


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6 moments that show how awesome newest Raven Marcus Peters is

6 moments that show how awesome newest Raven Marcus Peters is

Marcus Peters is a Raven now. Baltimore made it official Tuesday when they sent linebacker Kenny Smith and a draft pick to the Rams for the two-time All-Pro.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Peters has plenty of career highlights. It's hard to narrow it down, but here are some of his best.

He's got a game-sealing pick-six on Monday Night Football against the Raiders. He was fined for his "celebration" as he entered the end zone, but at least he was having a good time.

His entrance into the end zone was not nearly as smooth on this pick-six. His path to the goal line was much more difficult and he had to leave the game after this big hit.

Back when he was still with the Kansas City Chiefs, he showed a knack for finding the ball, stripping it from Jamaal Charles, scooping it up and returning it for a touchdown to open the scoring on Monday Night Football against the Broncos.

He also spent a whole game mic'd up, which was genuinely entertaining.

Peters similarly just ripped the ball right out of Kelvin Benjamin's hands, though he didn't return this one for a touchdown.

Most importantly, he's got a competitive attitude.

The Ravens needed reinforcements in their secondary, and Peters and his highlight-reel plays are on the way to help.