New Ravens running back Delone Carter is involved in the personal equivalent of a two-minute drill.
Acquired in a trade from the Indianapolis Colts last week in exchange for wide receiver and kick returner David Reed, Carter has only this week of practice and the preseason finale Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams to make his case to earn a roster spot.
"Time is of the essence," said Carter, who played with Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain and defensive end Arthur Jones at Syracuse. "I'm still going to go in there relaxed and ready to make plays because you can't play this game tight. Seize the opportunity and be confident in your abilities.
"I'm definitely excited. New start, new faces, some familiar faces from college around here. The coaches have welcomed me."
Carter is a 5-foot-9, 232-pound 2011 Colts fourth-round draft pick who has rushed for 499 career yards and five touchdowns on 133 carries, catching six passes for 31 yards.
To make the team, Carter will need to edge out Anthony Allen and Bobby Rainey for the third running back spot. And the defending Super Bowl champions would have to opt to keep a third running back in addition to Pro Bowl runner Ray Rice and backup Bernard Pierce, as well as starting fullback Vonta Leach and rookie Kyle Juszczyk, who are both assured of roster spots.
"It's a hurried evaluation, that's what it is," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Carter's situation. "We're going to have to see if we see enough. That's what it really boils down to. First impressions are positive, and we'll just see where it goes this week."
Carter rushed for 377 yards and two touchdowns in three starts as a rookie, but fell to 122 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Assigned the No. 38 jersey, Carter is known for his tackle-breaking presence more than anything.
"I'm a hard-nosed, blue-collar worker," said Carter, who rushed for 3,104 yards and 24 touchdowns in college and has two years remaining on his $2.469 million rookie contract with non-guaranteed base salaries of $555,000 this year and $645,000 in 2014. "Just a downhill runner that has the ability to make moves with his feet and somebody that's willing to work. I know what I bring to the table."
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