Uncertain Backups Hurt Ravens In Running Back Rankings

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the New England Patriots during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Even though Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice was the best all-purpose back in the NFL last season, the lack of a true proven backup drops the Ravens to sixth in SB Nation's ranking of the league's running backs. With the retirement of last year's backup, Ricky Williams, the Ravens are looking at some sort of combination that currently includes 2nd year players Anthony Allen and Damian Berry, as well as rookie Bernard Pierce.

We say "currently" because there is always a chance that one of the other guys heading into next week's start of Training Camp could step up and there always remains the possibility that theRavens could add a veteran free agent in the near future. The name most recently mentioned has been former Cincinnati Bengals RB Cedric Benson, who continues to be without a team as of this writing.

The team at the top of the rankings are the Houston Texans, followed by Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers. The lack of a definite backup is the only reason the Ravens only were ranked sixth, as everyone knows Rice is among the top 2-3 RB's in the entire league.

Click on the link above to see the rankings, as well as my narrative on the backups in the article.

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