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Ravens rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro reflects on a season cut short

Ravens rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro reflects on a season cut short
Ravens rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro rushed for four touchdowns this season. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Seated at his locker with his sprained foot in a walking boot, Ravens rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro reflected on a season cut short.

With two games remaining in the regular season, the fourth-round NFL draft pick from Coastal Carolina was placed on injured reserve.

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Although Taliaferro rushed for 292 yards and four touchdowns with eight receptions and 114 yards in 13 games, including 91 rushing yards on 18 carries against the Cleveland Browns, he's far from satisifed with his first NFL season.

"All the things I accomplished, it's good and all, but I don't think it's enough to feel settled," Taliaferro said. "As it is now, it's an earlier offseason for me to get ready and try to get prepared for next year.

"You can't settle on anything. You got to to keep on improving. Now that I have one year under my belt and know what it takes to be a pro, I've got to hone in and get better at all the other things."

Taliaferro wasn't involved much in the offense after losing a fumble against the Pittsburgh Steelers, his lone fumble on 68 carries this season. Taliaferro had four tackles on special teams. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry.

"I think he had a good year," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I don't have any in-detail thoughts about it. He did a good job, and he's going to be a heck of a player here. I'm really excited about him and disappointed, obviously, for him and for us, too. But he'll be stronger than ever next year."

Taliaferro said that he expects to recover from his injury within a few weeks. Because of the Ravens' need for depth, the decision was made to place him on injured reserve.

"It's just going to take a couple of weeks," Taliaferro said. "The way things are, a lot of guys went down. So, guys have to step up and get newer guys in there."

The Ravens' running back situation for next season is expected to be competitive. That will likely include Taliaferro, Bernard Pierce and Fitz Toussaint. It could also include veteran starter Justin Forsett, whose one-year, $730,000 contract is expiring. Forsett has expressed a desire to negotiate a new deal with the Ravens, but could draw solid interest from other teams as a free agent.

"Yeah, it could be wide open," Taliaferro said. "The coaches tell us every day we have to compete."

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