Leading Ravens in receptions is just part of job for RB Buck Allen

After a 2016 season in which he was relegated primarily to special-teams duty, Ravens running back Buck Allen finds himself leading the offense this fall in receptions with 39. One might think that development helps support his insistence last season and during the preseason that he could contribute to the team’s success.

But if that’s the case, you will not hear those words coming from Allen himself.

“Coming into the league, I know what was expected of me,” he said after practice Tuesday. “I know why they drafted me, I know what got me here. So I’ve just got to display it and show it.”

As a rookie in 2015, Allen accumulated 867 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. But a year later, he took a back seat to Justin Forsett, Terrance West (Towson University, Northwestern High), and rookie Kenneth Dixon and was deactivated for eight total games despite being relatively healthy.

This fall, the 6-foot, 222-pound Allen leads the team not only in catches, but also in total yards from scrimmage with 566 and is tied with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin for the overall touchdown lead with three.

“I feel like I bring a lot of value,” Allen, 26, said. “If it’s special teams or offense, I feel like I bring a lot of value. When I get my opportunities, I just try to take advantage of them and make the best of them.”

Whether Allen will continue to pace the passing offense could be affected by the impending return of Danny Woodhead from a pulled left hamstring. Woodhead, who caught three passes for 33 yards in one offensive series before suffering that hamstring injury, is regarded as the team’s best receiver from the backfield.

Still, Allen’s emergence as a receiving option has been valuable to quarterback Joe Flacco.

“It’s always great to have a guy out of the backfield that can do damage,” he said. “It just opens up a lot of things. That’s what we hope Danny can do. I think we’re starting to get to a little bit more where we can actually call them primary guys as opposed to just getting the ball on the checkdown.”

Allen is one of eight running backs who lead their teams in receptions — a group that includes five-time Pro Bowl player LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills and rookies Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers and Tarik Cohen of the Chicago Bears. Allen said he is happy to contribute in any fashion to the team’s success.

“It’s very meaningful because it’s showing that they trust me,” Allen said. “The quarterback trusts me and the coaches trust me to put me in position to make plays and be a playmaker.”



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