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.”