clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bernard Pierce has a great opportunity with postseason approaching

If Pierce is going to be with this team in the long-term, he needs to capitalize now.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After Bernard Pierce's rookie season in 2012, the running back out of Temple seemed destined for a bright future with the Ravens. He ran for 532 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.9 yards per carry in the process.

After a disappointing 2013 season in which no runner thrived, Pierce was thought to be in line for a greater role after the Ray Rice fallout. Instead, Justin Forsett stepped in and took care of a large chunk of the workload. Pierce has since been an afterthought, someone to take a carry here and there. Lorenzo Taliaferro was getting more time than Pierce early on, with the two going back and forth on the depth chart at the No. 2 running back position.

But with a foot injury sending Taliaferro to season-ending injured reserve, Pierce has a golden opportunity to prove he can be an effective running back moving forward with the Ravens. He'll be in line as the only No. 2 back, with Fitzgerald Toussaint a distant third on the depth chart. Without the wear and tear of a ton of carries (Pierce has just 86 carries this season), Pierce figures to be fresh for these final two games and the postseason.

Averaging 4.2 yards per carry and showing a great burst at the end of games lately, this final stretch could go a long way for Pierce's career in Baltimore. Next year will be the final year of his rookie contract, meaning he'll have a lot to prove for the Ravens to offer him another deal.

"Bernard doesn't have a lot of carries," Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters this week. "He's done really well, especially of late. At the end of games, he's probably — to your point — he's showing up at the end of the games, he's been strong [and] he's finished out a couple games for us. So yes, we want to keep building on that. But Bernard has a lot of talent, and he's very determined right now."