The Baltimore Ravens drafted running back Kenneth Dixon with their 134th overall selection in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he made quite the splash in his rookie season. Baltimore’s running back group in 2016 was a carousel, Justin Forsett was released in October of that year and Javorius Allen couldn’t find himself on the field. Dixon would emerge along with Terrance West, and the two formed a decent combo together towards the end of the season.
In 2016, Dixon rushed for 382 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, along with 30 receptions for 162 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Dixon displayed his versatility and physicality in his rookie season and was looking to carry it over into 2017. Baltimore thought they had something in Dixon, but in March of 2017, Dixon found himself suspended four games for performance-enhancing drugs. When training camp began, it was revealed that Dixon tore his meniscus while training and would miss the entire year. As we know, Alex Collins and Allen emerged as the two lead backs on the Ravens offense, and Collins now looks to finally be the guy to truly replace Ray Rice.
Due to this, Dixon now returns as the third running back on the depth chart, with hope remaining that he can help out this rushing attack the way he did just two years ago.
Unfortunately, Dixon is once again battling injuries as he tweaked his hamstring last week, and missed a few days of practice, including the Hall of Fame Game. In Dixon’s absence, the undrafted free agent running backs Mark Thompson and Gus Edwards hav stepped in for Dixon, and some eyes will be on them this preseason. The Ravens have had a lot of success finding talent in undrafted free agents when they are given an opportunity, and these two could be the latest to join the club.
If Thompson performs this preseason and Dixon is still working his way back on the practice field, then maybe Dixon won’t be a lock to make the roster as we thought. Not only did Dixon miss all of last year, but in 2016 he missed the first four games of the season due to a torn MCL. Collins and Allen are the two main running backs and are not going anywhere after leading the Ravens to the 11th best rush offense in football last year. For Dixon, the former fourth-round pick might find himself expendable if Thompson, Edwards or De’Lance Turner produce this summer.