The Ravens on Monday used their open roster spot to sign former Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott, who will presumably start out as their third running back behind Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.
So what are they getting in Scott? Besides a little confusion in the meeting room or on the practice field when running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery calls on “Bernard” to answer a question or join the huddle?
The Ravens have been carrying two running backs since they let Shaun Draughn go a couple weeks ago. Given the pounding that running backs take, that is risky business for any NFL team, especially with Rice working his way back from a hip injury and Pierce battling nagging injuries throughout the season.
At least, Scott will provide needed depth, especially if the injury Pierce suffered in the Week 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers sidelines him this weekend in Cleveland.
And if he has fully recovered from the knee injury that ended his 2012 season after two games and just eight carries, he might also bring explosiveness to the backfield.
At 5 feet 10 and 195 pounds, Scott is not a bruising back. He has good short-area quickness and a little bit of speed when he gets in the open field. In 2011, his last healthy season, Scott forced 13 missed tackles on 112 carries, according to Pro Football Focus. For comparison sake, Rice broke 17 tackles on 291 carries that season.
Scott was simply a proverbial change-of-pace backup back for the Bengals, rushing for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in four seasons in Cincinnati while averaging 4.1 yards per carry. He also has 29 career catches for 165 yards.
Scott, who turns 30 in February, also had some success as a kickoff returner, so he could slot somewhere behind Pro Bowl kickoff returner Jacoby Jones for the Ravens.
Scott adds depth to the Baltimore backfield and a little intrigue.
No offense to him, but he should not be viewed as a potential savior for the Ravens, who are last in the NFL at 2.8 yards per carry. He was simply one of the better options on a thin market that included backs like Michael Turner, Cedric Benson, Ryan Grant and Kevin Smith.