The Ravens announced that newly acquired running backs Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman were not promoted from the practice squad to the active roster ahead of Monday night’s season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Defensive back/linebacker Anthony Levine Sr. and defensive tackle Justin Ellis were promoted instead.
Under the NFL rules, two players can be promoted to the active roster each week. Players can return to the practice squad without going through waivers after the first two promotions. A player can be claimed by another team after their third promotion.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday that Bell was in good shape, but has to get in football shape. “[Bell] has to get his sea legs a little bit, football-wise,” Harbaugh said. “Football shape does mean something.”
With Bell and Freeman not on the active roster, the Ravens’ running backs for Week 1 will be Ty’Son Williams, Trenton Cannon and Latavius Murray. The Ravens signed Murray to a one-year deal Sept. 10 after he was released by the New Orleans Saints. Murray rushed for 656 yards in 2020 and has only missed one game in the past four seasons. Cannon was signed around the same time as Bell, but the former sixth-round pick is known more for his contributions on special teams.
Williams, a 2020 undrafted free agent who spent all of last season on the practice squad, is expected to receive the majority of the workload Monday night, given his experience with the offense. During the preseason, Williams recorded 131 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
“Ty’Son [Williams] has impressed us from Day One,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said on Saturday. “[On] look team reps last year, we had a scrimmage in the stadium last year where he really jumped off the screen to all of us. We feel great about Ty’Son. He’s done nothing but impress.”