The Ravens secondary isn’t the only unit that’s been depleted by injuries.
A week after losing their top running back, J.K. Dobbins, for the season to a torn Achilles tendon, Justice Hill suffered a turf toe injury in Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, a source with direct knowledge of the injury confirmed to The Baltimore Sun. Depending on the grade of the injury, turf toe can typically take anywhere from one to four weeks to heal.
Hill, who ran for 41 yards on 11 carries against the Bengals and had 9 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns in Week 1 against the Houston Texans, was one of eight players who didn’t practice Wednesday.
Other players absent were wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle); outside linebackers Odafe Oweh (ankle) and Jadeveon Clowney (illness); cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot); center Tyler Linderbaum (ankle); left tackle Ronnie Stanley (knee); and safety Marcus Williams (pectoral). Meanwhile, wide receiver Devin Duvernay (shoulder) was limited.
Coach John Harbaugh deferred to the injury report when asked for an update after Wednesday’s practice. “It’s not anything to our advantage to talk about any of that stuff right now,” he said.
With the loss of Dobbins and the injury to Hill, who could be out for this week’s home game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Ravens brought back a familiar face.
Kenyan Drake signed with Baltimore’s practice squad, the team announced. It marks Drake’s second straight season in Baltimore.
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Last year, the Ravens signed him just before the start of the season with Dobbins still recovering from multiple torn ligaments in his knee and a torn hamstring and Gus Edwards working his way back from a torn ACL. Drake was their starter in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins but was inactive in Weeks 3 and 4 before breaking out with 119 yards on 10 carries in Week 6 against the Giants.
Dobbins and Edwards both eventually returned, but Drake still appeared in 12 regular-season games, starting five of them, and rushed for 482 yards on 109 carries with four touchdowns. He also had 17 catches for 89 yards and a score.
“He’s talented,” Harbaugh said of the 29-year-old. “He’s fast, he’s an athletic guy, catches balls out of the backfield, probably a real good fit in this offense.
“It’s funny, I was watching Bengals tape last week again from last year as we were preparing, and he was on the tape. He had good games. I was thinking, ‘Man, Kenyan Drake really looked good in those games.’ Next thing you know, here he is.”
In those games against the Bengals, Drake had four carries for 26 yards in a 19-17 Week 5 win in Baltimore and 16 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown along with two catches for 19 yards in a 26-17 loss in Week 17 at Cincinnati. For his career, Drake, who has also played for the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals and Las Vegas Raiders, has 3,866 yards on 867 carries and 33 touchdowns to go with 216 catches for 1,624 yards and eight touchdowns.
Though Harbaugh said after Dobbins’ latest injury that the organization was unlikely to add a back from outside the building, Drake’s addition provides depth to a group that was down to Edwards and Melvin Gordon III, who was elevated from the practice squad last week, as the only healthy running backs on the 53-man roster. With undrafted rookie free agent Keaton Mitchell also on injured reserve for at least two more games with a shoulder injury, Owen Wright, who is currently on the practice squad, is the Ravens’ only other healthy back.
In the Ravens’ win over the Bengals on Sunday, Edwards logged 10 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown, while Gordon was active but did not see any action. Baltimore had brought in Drake, Ronald Jones and James Robinson for a workout before deciding to go with Drake, who spent the preseason with the Indianapolis Colts.