Last Friday marked the one-year anniversary of Lorenzo Taliaferro’s operation to repair a Lisfranc foot sprain. So his first appearance at Ravens practice on Wednesday in more than 12 months was a significant moment for the third-year running back.
“It feels great, man,” he said. “No one can steal my joy right now. Today was a little rough because I’ve been working, but it’s nothing compared to being actually out there with pads on.”
Taliaferro, a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, showed potential when he gained 292 yards and scored four touchdowns on 68 carries as a rookie. He had just 47 yards and one touchdown on 13 attempts last season before the foot injury forced the team to shut him down on Oct. 14, 2015.
Taliaferro did not participate in practices during training camp and was placed on the reserve physically unable to perform list on Aug 30. The slow recovery process was a source of frustration for the 6-foot, 225-pound tailback.
“In the beginning, it was tough,” he said. “But as weeks and months started to pass, I realized it’s just all part of God’s plan. I’ve been in situations like this before, not necessarily injuries, but as far as playing.
"I went to a JUCO [Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa.] where I played fullback. I live up to these moments. The longer the journey, the better the story.”
Taliaferro’s journey isn’t complete. He joins a running back corps with starter Terrance West, rookie Kenneth Dixon, and Javorius “Buck” Allen. The team has three weeks to decide what to do with Taliaferro, who said the time will be helpful as he tries to regain his football form.
“Three weeks, that’s a good amount of time for me to get out there and get some ball handling with the quarterbacks, learn the protection stuff, play good on special teams,” he said. “I’m preparing because it could be three weeks or it can be this Sunday.”