The Baltimore Ravens have yet to play a regular season game, yet they’ve already taken a season’s worth of injuries. With three of their top four running backs down for the count, Ty’Son Williams and recently-signed veteran Latavius Murray are the only notable backs left on the roster. Even though Latavius Murray is the bigger name, the latest NFL rumors suggest that Williams will have every opportunity to keep the starting job.
NFL Rumors: Ty’Son Williams To Be Ravens Starting Running Back Over Latavius Murray
According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Ty’Son Williams appears to have a strong hold on Baltimore’s staring job. The article is behind a paywall, so I won’t quote too much of his actual work. However, Zrebiec essentially says that “Murray is an accomplished back…but I expect the Ravens to give Williams every opportunity over these first couple of weeks to solidify his hold on the starting job.”
— Kev 🌴 (@Kev_Gordy) September 10, 2021
This is valuable information, both for fans of the Baltimore Ravens and the fantasy football community at large. Even though Murray has the track record, Zrebiec points to his advanced age and unfamiliarity with the playbook as reasons the former New Orleans Saint might not be anything more than a backup.
Of course, Zrebiec acknowledges that Murray could win the job down the line. The 31-year old’s physical rushing style is a perfect match for Baltimore’s offense, and Williams has yet to handle a regular season carry in his career. If his impressive preseason doesn’t translate to actual game action, then Murray will earn the starting job eventually.
Running Back By Committee
Even if Williams keeps the job, Murray will see plenty of action. Zrebiec notes that offensive coordiantor Greg Roman prefers a committee approach, and that won’t be changing in the face of all these injuries. In fact, Zrebiec went so far as to say that “Murray, Freeman, Bell, and maybe even Cannon” will be a part of this backfield.
In terms of pure workload distribution, Baltimore’s running back situation will probably be similar to what they planned on doing with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Had everyone stayed healthy, Dobbins would have likely handled 55-60% of the opportunities, while Edwards sat in the 35-40% range. Now, Williams will get the starting job, while Murray remains a crucial backup, at least for the time being.
It’s interesting that Zrebiec listed Freeman’s name before Bell’s. Even though Le’Veon Bell signed with Baltimore before Freeman, Freeman could end up being the third running back in this committee. When signed to the practice squad, EPSN’s Adam Schefter said that he expected Freeman to be promoted on game days. New rules allow two practice squad players to be active on game days, and I’d have a tough time believing Baltimore would use both promotions on running backs.
Ravens now are signing veteran free-agent RB Devonta Freeman to their practice squad, per his agent @DrewJRosenhaus. The idea is that Freeman will be promoted to Ravens’ active roster.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 9, 2021
Cannon is one of three backs on the active roster, but he probably won’t see too much time with the offense. The journeyman running back is nothing more than a special teams presence and will probably see most of his time on the kick and punt units. He could step in if calamity strikes, but he’s probably fourth or fifth on the depth chart.