"I think we had holding on like 75 percent of our drives," said quarterback Joe Flacco when asked about how tough it was with all the pressure Oakland brought. "I saw a couple of them on the big [board]." (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
Last season, Javorius "Buck" Allen was the Ravens’ second-best running back, replacing Justin Forsett after he broke his arm and rushing for 514 yards and one touchdown on 137 carries.

This fall, the fourth-round pick of the 2015 NFL draft not only found himself on the bench, but had been deactivated for the team’s first three games. That’s why the second-year pro was thrilled after playing in Sunday’s 28-27 loss to the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium.

“It felt amazing,” he said. “Being inactive for the first three games makes you think about it a lot and makes you think about all of those little things that you appreciate in life. Also, it made me think about all the things I went through to get here, and I never want to put that feeling on anyone."

As bewildering as the inactive label was for Allen, he said it did not cause him to doubt himself.

With Forsett taking a seat Sunday, Allen backed up starter Terrance West (Northwestern High, Towson University), and gained 13 yards on three attempts. Allen also caught two passes for 15 yards – both of which earned first downs.

Maybe it’s because of the three-game layoff, but Allen said he is ready to do more.

“I feel like I’m better than last year,” he said. “I always work to improve and whenever I touch the ball and whenever I have a play, I’m going to make the best of it.”

Coach John Harbaugh said Allen had earned the right to be active.

“The thought there was to give Buck a chance,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been working hard and he’s a talented guy and give him a chance to see to get in there and see what he can do.”

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