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Report: Ravens receiving trade inquires about their running backs

Oh how the tables have turned...

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens were in desperate need of running back depth at the onset of the 2021 season after losing their top three players at the position to season-ending injuries. After adding a handful of notable veterans on the fly, they were still been able to field the fourth-best rushing offense in yards per game through the first four weeks of the season.

According to reports from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they have received calls from multiple teams around the league inquiring about potentially trading for a member of their sudden surplus.

After both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards suffered torn ACLs and Justice Hill tore his Achilles tendon, the Ravens turned to the veteran free-agent market to replenish their ranks at the position. They brought in former Pro Bowlers Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell, and Devonta Freeman to join second-year pro Ty’Son Williams.

The Ravens rushing attack is still spearheaded by dynamic dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson who leads the team in rushing with 341 yards and ranks tied for second in the league in yards per carry with 6.08.

Despite being inactive for last week’s win over the Denver Broncos, Williams still ranks second on the team in rushing with 170 yards and ranked fifth in the league in yards per carry among qualifying players with 6.1 through the first three weeks of the season.

Murray has scored a rushing touchdown in three of the first four games and has a team-leading three scores on the ground. Bell made his debut last week and looked solid but not spectacular in a limited sample size. Freeman has been active for the last four games and didn’t touch the ball more than four times in any of them but he is nice checkdown option out of the backfield and a strong pass protector.

The midseason trade deadline is less than a month away on Nov. 2 and the Ravens “may not end up trading any of their running backs,” Schefter wrote. However, General Manager Eric DeCosta won’t hesitate to use a surplus at one position to acquire an asset to improve or reinforce another where they lack depth or are in need of an upgrade.

The Ravens have a glaring need of depth at offensive tackle with All-Pro Ronnie Stanley set to miss his fourth straight game with an injury and no timetable for a potential return. If they could package one or more of their veteran running backs for a veteran or developmental lineman or even another safety, they could just elevate rookie Nate McCrary from the practice squad. The undrafted free agent signed with the team out of Saginaw Valley State and looked good in the preseason.