Rookie running back Kenneth Dixon eager to return to the Ravens

The Ravens' struggling run game is in need of a boost, which could come in the form of Kenneth Dixon.

After running by himself last week at practice, the rookie running back appeared to take part in individual drills during Wednesday's session. Dixon, the organization's last of five picks in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft, has not played since suffering a strained medial collateral ligament in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 27.


Neither he nor coach John Harbaugh has offered a timetable for when Dixon will return to game action, but the rookie is happy to take a small step in the right direction.

"It feels good getting back out there and getting some of the reps that I got and everything," he said. "I'm just getting back out there, working hard with the team, testing the knee out, and seeing what all I can do and what all I can't do on it."

Dixon, who led the team in rushing yards (107) in the preseason, said the recovery process has been slow and difficult.

"Everything combined – just getting back mentally, physically and spiritually back into it. It's going to be a grind, an uphill battle and I'm just ready to do it," he said.

The run offense could use Dixon. Terrance West (Northwestern High, Towson University) and Justin Forsett have paced the unit to an average of 3.3 yards per carry, which ranks 26th out of 32 teams. Quarterback Joe Flacco scored the team's only rushing touchdown.

Harbaugh sounded hopeful about Dixon's potential contributions to the offense.

"He can provide another running back who can tote the ball pretty good," Harbaugh said. "We'll just have to find out. He's a rookie. So I think a lot of what he can provide is yet to be determined. But he showed flashes in preseason, which is exciting. I think we're all excited about what he might do. We just have to see."

Dixon said he is eager to demonstrate his skills for the Ravens.

"I can't wait to get out there and show what I can do in this offense," he said. "I feel like I can do a lot of things well in this offense, getting the ball, running downhill, catching the ball out of the backfield, making a guy miss and trying to take it the distance. I'm just ready to get back out there and see what I can do."


Suggs misses … Drew Bledsoe?: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been sacked just twice thus far, a testament to his ability to elude the pass rush. The Ravens, who are tied for seventh in the NFL with nine sacks, will try to get to Carr on Sunday.

Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who has registered three sacks this year, said he's not surprised by Carr's mobility, saying, "That's the norm. Every week you get a mobile quarterback. Not everybody is Michael Vick and Tyrod Taylor, but these quarterbacks can run. So you've just got to take them at face value. There are no more Drew Bledsoes that just stood there and took it like a man, God bless him. All these quarterbacks are looking to make plays with their feet, to extend plays and make plays down the field."

Bledsoe, a longtime Patriots quarterback who played for the Bills and Cowboys by the time Suggs got to the league, finished his career ranked sixth in league history in sacks absorbed with 467. Asked if he missed Bledsoe, Suggs replied, "Definitely. Drew Bledsoe, he took it like a man. He just liked to sit in there and he waited for his guy to get open and gave us a lot more time. So we're thankful for Drew Bledsoe."

End zone: Elvis Dumervil declined to speak to reporters until Thursday, but Harbaugh said the outside linebacker was "really close" to making his season debut against the Jaguars. "He was fighting to do it," Harbaugh said. "He just didn't quite get there." … CBS announced that it plans to broadcast Sunday's game to 21 percent of its markets, which would by far be the largest percentage of the country that will get a Ravens game so far this season. The network had broadcast the contests against the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars to 6 percent of its markets and the season opener against the Buffalo Bills to 5 percent.

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