As one of eight players on injured reserve, Kenneth Dixon knows the Ravens could have easily mothballed his 2018 season until next year.
Instead, the team designated the running back as one of its two players available to return from IR (cornerback Maurice Canady is the other). And for that, Dixon is thankful.
“It means a lot,” Dixon, 24, said Wednesday. “It shows that they believe in me, and it shows that they know that I’ve been working hard to get back. So I really appreciate it. Coach [John] Harbaugh is a really good guy. He told me to stay ready because he wanted to see me back. I just wanted to come back and play.”
Dixon has taken steps toward that scenario, practicing two days before Sunday’s win against the Bengals and again Wednesday. The Ravens already have four running backs on their active roster in Collins, Buck Allen, Ty Montgomery and rookie Gus Edwards, and Harbaugh was not prepared to say where Dixon would fall into that group.
“We’ll see,” Harbaugh said Monday. “He has to practice more than one time. I have to see the guy practice. If I see him practice, I’ll know where he fits in.”
Dixon’s return appeared shaky when Harbaugh said the running back was dealing with “issues that are beyond our coaches’ control. We just have to wait for league clearance and things like that.” Like Harbaugh, Dixon would not elaborate on what those issues were.
“It wasn’t anything that was bad, I promise you that,” he said. “I just had to wait on confirmation.”
The 5-foot-10, 228-pound Dixon showed flashes of why the Ravens took him in the fourth round in 2016 when he rushed for 382 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. But a torn meniscus in his left knee sidelined him for the entire 2017 season. He had rushed for 44 yards and one score before suffering another knee injury in the season-opening 47-3 rout of the Buffalo Bills.
Dixon said he’s eager to help the Ravens with “anything that I can do to come back and help the team. I also wanted to come back and play because I haven’t played for most of the year. It’s always fun to get back out there and participate.”