When the Ravens signed former Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott, the transaction was done with the idea that they needed an influx of speed as well as a healthy alternative given how Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce were feeling.
Since being signed to a one-year, $715,000 contract, though, Scott has been inactive for the past two games. Rice is no longer listed on the injury report with a strained left hip flexor, and Pierce's injuries are regarded as minor as he's participated fully all week with a toe and knee injury.
However, nothing has changed about the NFL's 30th-ranked rushing offense, which is averaging 73.1 yards per game and ranks last in the league with 2.8 yards per carry.
Scott says he's absorbed enough knowledge about the playbook to get on the field if called upon.
"Yeah, I'm ready," Scott said. "I got the offense down fo the most part. I'm going to keep working, keep studying. Whenever the coaches give me the green light, I'll be ready to go."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh says that Scott has "progressed very well and could be active in the coming weeks."
However, the Ravens would need to sit someone else at another position to have all three running backs active on gameday in addition to fullbacks Vonta Leach and Kyle Juszczyk.
"We just have to make a decision to activate three runners and balance that with other needs," Harbaugh said. "Who would be the other person deactivated? That would be a decision that we’d have to make, game plan-wise and that sort of thing.”
The compact 5-foot-10, 195-pound Scott has rushed for 1,035 career yards and four touchdowns in four seasons. He's caught 29 passes for 165 yards.
Could Scott help a running game that's stuck in neutral? It's hard to believe he could make the situation worse.
"That’s one of those things that we’ve been working on constantly," offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said when asked if Scott is ready. "[Running backs coach] Wilbert Montgomery is doing a great job with him, working with him every waking moment that he has. He’s been catching on.
"He understands the system, he’s been getting better, and as soon as he’s ready to go, and we feel there may be some situational things that he may be able to do for us. We’ll see what John [Harbaugh] looks at, in terms of the overall numbers, who’s [active on gameday], and all those sorts of things to make a determination on that.”
Scott says he's remaining patient as he waits for an opportunity.
"Right, I'm just really trying to take care of my job, get the offense down," Scott said. "Then, the coaches will make a decision. I'm going to keep working and see what happens."