Shortly before the trade deadline Thursday afternoon, the Ravens made an unexpected but splashy acquisition, trading for Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery. In exchange, Baltimore shipped away a 2020 seventh-round pick.
Montgomery, 25, has been a fairly consistent contributor for the Packers since he entered the league in 2015. After spending his rookie season at wide receiver, Montgomery gradually shifted to running back to fill a void in the Green Bay backfield.
He quickly became the Packers lead back in his sophomore season after Eddie Lacy was placed on IR, and Montgomery responded well.
In 15 games, Montgomery rushed 77 times for 457 yards and three touchdowns. His 5.9 YPC average was one of the highest in the league, and he also caught 44 passes for 358 yards through the air.
Montgomery was not quite as proficient last season, but still managed to total 446 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in just eight games. He missed the remaining eight contests due to ribs and wrist injuries.
This season has been a rather forgettable one for Montgomery, however. Montgomery has seen limited snaps behind Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, and he recently experienced a falling out with the Green Bay coaching staff and some players.
Montgomery fumbled the ball late on a kickoff return in the Packers Week 8 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Rather than kneeling the ball in the end zone, Montgomery went against the conviction of his coaching staff and cost Aaron Rodgers and company a shot at victory.
The Packers were evidently upset by the play and Montgomery’s attitude afterwards, and they wasted no time moving in a different direction. Montgomery is a free agent after this season and will be looking to prove himself with a fresh start in Baltimore.
The decision to trade for him clearly shows that the Ravens front office and coaching staff are not satisfied with the running game this season. And who could blame them?
The Ravens are averaging just 96.6 rushing yards per game after eight weeks, good for 24th in the league. Their average yards per carry of 3.4 ranks a dismal 31st, higher than only the Arizona Cardinals.
Baltimore’s struggles on the ground this year have been both surprising and disappointing. It’s not due to a lack of commitment, as the Ravens rank eighth in the NFL with 212 rushing attempts. However, they simply have been unable to sustain an effective rushing attack.
After a breakout sophomore season in 2017, Alex Collins has been unable to get into a rhythm, averaging just 3.7 YPC and fumbling three times. Javorius Allen has been similarly inefficient with his opportunities.
Montgomery has seen only 26 carries this season, but his 4.0 YPC average is higher than both Collins and Allen. He’s also continued to make an impact as a receiver, catching 15 passes for 170 yards while returning punts and kicks for Green Bay.
How much of a spark Montgomery can add to this Ravens offense remains to be seen. However, it’s clear that the Ravens want to solve their rushing woes, and adding Montgomery to the backfield mix is a step in the right direction.
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