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Baltimore Ravens

John Harbaugh: Ravens were prepared to lose running back Justin Forsett via roster gamble

The Ravens gambled that Justin Forsett would return after they terminated his contract Saturday. They also had steeled themselves to the possibility that the featured tailback might get enticed by a better offer from a competitor, though that scenario never seemed to seriously be in play.

"We understood that," coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday afternoon. "You have to take risks. No guts, no glory. You can't achieve anything unless you're willing to take some risks. Certainly you take calculated, smart risks, and that's what we did there."

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Forsett returns for his second season under the same three-year, $9 million contract he signed prior to the 2015 campaign, plus a $100,000 incentive if he exceeds last year's rushing total of 641 yards.

In releasing him Saturday and then resigning him two days later, the Ravens were able to retain strong safety Matt Elam (knee) and defensive tackle Carl Davis (ankle) on the 53-man roster and then place both on injured reserve.

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By keeping Elam and Davis on the roster through Sunday, the Ravens can bring back one player from injured reserve to the active roster later in the season.

The 30-year-old Forsett, who set career highs in carries (235), yards (1,266), and touchdowns (eight) in 2014, could have taken out his frustration and gone elsewhere. But Harbaugh praised Forsett for sticking with the plan.

"I thought Justin handled it exceptionally well," Harbaugh said. "It was a team move on his part, and it didn't hurt him in any way – financially or otherwise. He knew what the plan was all along. I thought it was well executed, and hopefully, it helps us in the end. It's a small thing, but it's not small thing for those two guys that have a chance to come back on the roster. It's a big thing for those two guys and for our team. Just saw it as a plus all the way around, and a well-executed move."


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