By Matt Vensel
9:55 AM EDT, September 30, 2013
After sitting out last week's win over the Houston Texans with a hip injury, the first game he had missed since his rookie season, running back Ray Rice was listed as questionable heading into Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. Not only did Rice play, he received a heavy workload in the 23-20 loss.
Rice played 43 of the team's 63 offensive snaps, though he was mostly just there for show -- well, pass blocking if you want to get technical. Rice received just five carries as the Ravens abandoned the running game at halftime, and he was targeted just once as a receiver on the 50 passes that Joe Flacco tossed.
Running back Bernard Pierce, who started in Rice's place against the Texans, played just 20 snaps in the loss to the Bills. Fullback Vonta Leach played even less, getting just 11 snaps, his lowest total this season.
Here are other observations from the official snap counts:
--- Cornerback Lardarius Webb played 17 snaps before exiting the game with a thigh injury. He was replaced by Corey Graham, who played 65 snaps. With Webb out, Chykie Brown got his first action on defense this season, playing 10 snaps in the sub packages. Safeties Matt Elam and James Ihedigbo played all 84 snaps and starting cornerback Jimmy Smith played 83. Backup safety Michael Huff played nine.
--- With the Bills running the ball 55 times, the Ravens used their base personnel more than usual. That meant that strong-side linebacker Courtney Upshaw saw more action, getting 54 snaps while Elvis Dumervil got just 37. Rush linebacker Terrell Suggs played 63 snaps. Pernell McPhee played 23 despite missing two practices last week.
--- Each of the starting defensive linemen played at least 63 percent of the snaps. Nose tackle Haloti Ngata played 68 snaps. Defensive tackle Arthur Jones played 56. Defensive end Chris Canty played 53. Backup defensive linemen Marcus Spears, Brandon Williams and DeAngelo Tyson played 33, 16 and 10 snaps on defense, respectively.
--- Wide receiver Torrey Smith played all 65 offensive snaps against the Bills. Marlon Brown, the team's other starting wide receiver, played 61. Tandon Doss played 34, doubling his snap count from week ago. And Deonte Thompson made his 2013 regular season debut, playing 19 snaps before he got knocked out of the game with a concussion.
--- Tight end Dallas Clark played 49 snaps as the Ravens used their 11 personnel for most of their second-half snaps. Ed Dickson played 23 snaps. Billy Bajema got none.
--- Middle linebacker Daryl Smith played every snap on defense for a fourth straight week. Weak-side linebacker Josh Bynes played 75 snaps, occasionally being replaced by Huff in passing situations. Rookie linebacker Arthur Brown was sidelined by a pectoral injury for a second straight game.
--- Safety Anthony Levine led the Ravens on Sunday with 31 snaps on special teams, followed by Brown (30), rush linebacker John Simon (29), and Dickson and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (26 apiece). Despite an increased workload on defense, Graham played 20 snaps on special teams.
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