Devonta Freeman, Ravens Agree to Contract After Dobbins, Hill, Edwards Injuries

Blake SchusterContributor ISeptember 9, 2021

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Devonta Freeman #31 of the New York Giants runs the ball during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 04, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Following season-ending injuries to J.K. Dobbins, Justice Hill and, potentially, Gus Edwards, the Baltimore Ravens are adding tailback Devonta Freeman to their practice squad with the intention of adding him to the active roster, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Ravens now are signing veteran free-agent RB Devonta Freeman to their practice squad, per his agent <a href="https://twitter.com/DrewJRosenhaus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DrewJRosenhaus</a>. The idea is that Freeman will be promoted to Ravens’ active roster.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell, at least for the time being, give the Ravens the most decorated practice squad in recent memory, if not in NFL history.

The Ravens made a similar move on Tuesday by adding veteran free agent Le'Veon Bell to their practice squad until he's ready to join the 53-man roster. 

Baltimore reportedly fears it lost Edwards and cornerback Marcus Peters to torn ACLs on back-to-back plays in practice on Thursday. A backfield that was already a weak point in the Ravens offense becomes even more exploitable with the injury to Edwards—who was expected to receive the bulk of carries after an early season-ending injury to Dobbins during the preseason. 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Ravens also fear that CB Marcus Peters suffered a torn ACL in same practice, per source. <a href="https://t.co/CM5vbbjfAa">https://t.co/CM5vbbjfAa</a>

A two-time Pro Bowler, Freeman has been trying to recreate the success he found with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 and 2016 for a few years now. In those two elite seasons, Freeman rushed for 2,135 yards on 492 carries (4.3 yards per attempt) with 22 touchdowns. He also added another 1,040 yards on 127 catches (8.2 yards per reception) with five scores. Just as important is the fact he only fumbled four times. 

In the four years since 2017, Freeman's production has dropped significantly. He's rushed for 1,761 yards on 448 carries (3.9 yards per attempt) with 10 touchdowns and seven fumbles. Freeman also caught 107 passes for 808 yards (7.6 yards per reception) with five touchdowns.

Now he'll compete for touches alongside Bell and Ty'Son Williams and Trenton Cannon as Baltimore looks to salvage their ground game just days before the season starts.