The Ravens have Le’Veon Bell on their team now. There’s still a question about whether they’ll need him Monday.
Coach John Harbaugh said before practice Thursday that “there’s a chance” that Bell, signed to the team’s practice squad Wednesday, could play in Week 1 against the Las Vegas Raiders. With Gus Edwards suffering a potentially season-ending knee injury hours later, training camp sensation Ty’Son Williams is now expected to start.
But if the Ravens activate only three running back for their season opener, their three-time All-Pro could be the odd man out. Trenton Cannon, who was signed to the team’s active roster Wednesday, has significant special teams experience, which Harbaugh values, and spent camp with the Carolina Panthers. Devonta Freeman, a former All-Pro who reportedly signed with the Ravens’ practice squad Thursday, also earned repetitions this summer with the New Orleans Saints before being released.
Until practicing this week, Bell, 29, hadn’t suited up for a team since the playoffs last season with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Le’Veon’s a guy, I think, we’re very familiar with,” Harbaugh said Thursday of the former Pittsburgh Steelers star. “Obviously played against him so many times, and so many highly competitive, emotional games. It was fun to have him in for the workout. He had a good workout. Practiced yesterday, did a good job. So, yeah, we’ll have a process with him. He’s excited. He’s learning. And we’ll see where it goes.”
The Ravens lost starter J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending knee injury in their Aug. 28 preseason finale and Justice Hill, a reserve and special teams contributor, less than a week later. Harbaugh compared Cannon, a sixth-round pick of the New York Jets in 2018, to the speedy Hill.
“He’s a guy that we’ve watched on special teams quite a bit,” he said. “He’s an excellent special teams player and kind of a speed running back. So he fits us a little bit with Justice getting injured. ... Great guy. Seems like he’s learning well, so once again, he’s another option for Monday night.”
The Ravens have until 4 p.m. Monday to decide whether to activate players from their practice squad. Those players can be sent back down to the practice squad without having to clear waivers no more than twice.