Running back Buck Allen has been the most impressive player from the Ravens’ 2015 draft class.
While first-round pick wide receiver Breshad Perriman never played a snap due to a knee injury in training camp, fourth-round pick Allen has been a difference-maker offensively. After being benched for fumbling the previous week, Allen played a key role in Sunday’s 20-17 upset win over the Steelers. Allen contributed 114 total yards – 79 yard rushing and 35 yards receiving – and scored the Ravens’ final touchdown on a shifty three-yard run.
The Ravens coaching staff loves Allen’s talent, but they also love his toughness. This was a key game in Allen’s growth process, to see how he responded to being benched. Coach John Harbaugh loved what he saw.
“For him, that’s probably another great story about bouncing back,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not trying to punish him. (You) make a choice sometimes about what’s best in the long interest of playing winning football. He took it to heart. He’s a humble, hard-working, very confident guy. He came back and he answered the bell.”
Allen, who has 478 yards rushing this year, has been the Ravens’ primary running back since Justin Forsett suffered a season-ending broken arm. With Forsett already 30 years old, Allen figures to become the Ravens’ No. 1 back at some point. Whenever that time comes, Allen looks like he will be ready.
“Last week hurt me, to go out there and fumble,” Allen said. “I took full responsibility. The coaching staff believed in me and kept feeding me the ball.
“I just want to think them for believing in me and just staying with me and not giving up on me.”