Saints signing former Ravens running back Terrance West, report says

The Baltimore Sun

Free-agent running back Terrance West, who was a healthy scratch for six of the Ravens’ final seven games and didn’t get a single touch after Week 5, appears to have a new home.

The New Orleans Saints worked out West, 27, on Wednesday and are signing him to a deal, NFL.com reported, citing a source informed of the situation.

The Northwestern High and Towson University alumnus is expected to provide depth after Mark Ingram was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

He’ll join a backfield that includes Alvin Kamara, Jonathan Williams, Trey Edmunds (Maryland), Daniel Lasco and rookie Boston Scott.

In the NFL, West has rushed for 1,816 yards and 11 touchdowns on 465 attempts, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. He also has 344 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 51 catches. His best season came in 2016 when he led the Ravens with a career-high 774 yards rushing.

West, who worked out for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in early May, according to a league source, started 17 games over parts of three seasons for the Ravens.

His fate with the team was essentially sealed this past season when he was sidelined for four weeks with a calf injury and Alex Collins emerged as the team’s starting back. With Collins and Buck Allen still under contract and Kenneth Dixon returning from an injury/suspension, West’s re-signing with the Ravens was considered unlikely.

A third-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, West was traded to the Tennessee Titans for a conditional seventh-round pick before the start of the 2015 season.

He played six games with the Ravens in 2015 and was their starting back for much of 2016 after the Ravens decided to move on from veteran Justin Forsett. West started 13 games and finished the season with career highs in carries (193), rushing yards (774), rushing touchdowns (five), receptions (34) and receiving yards (236).

For four of the first five games of the 2017 season, West remained the starting back. However, he suffered a calf injury while breaking a 13-yard run in the first quarter of a victory over the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 8. He missed four games with the injury and then was a healthy scratch for five consecutive games.

West was active Dec. 23 against the Indianapolis Colts, but he didn’t get a carry. He returned to being a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh praised how West handled the demotion. West was given ample opportunities by reporters to criticize the team after he essentially lost his job because of injury, but he never did, reiterating that he’d be ready when called upon.

West, an honorable mention All-Metro player at Northwestern, attended Fork Union Military Academy before enrolling at Towson for the 2011 season. As a junior, he rushed for NCAA Football Championship Subdivision records of 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns in leading the Tigers to the national title game.

The Saints also looked at veteran Jamaal Charles, who had a good visit and passed the physical, according to an NFL.com source familiar with the situation. The two sides, however, decided the situation didn't make sense at this time and could revisit at a later time, the website said.

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