The Baltimore Ravens recently worked out a trio of veteran running backs with the hopes of adding more depth to their banged-up backfield, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. On Wednesday, they opted to bring back a familiar face, adding Kenyan Drake on the practice squad.
The move was first reported by NFL Networks’ Tom Pelissero and per Zrebiec, the other two veteran players at the position were Ronald Jones and James Robinson. Jones was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys after serving a two-game suspension and Robinson who has been on the open market since being released by the New York Giants in late August.
Drake spent most of training camp and the preseason with the Indianapolis Colts before being released in late August. Before that, he spent the 2022 season with the Ravens appearing in 12 games making five starts, and recording 482 rushing yards, four touchdowns, 17 receptions, 89 receiving yards, and a touchdown.
The eight-year veteran stepped up and had some big performances for the Ravens last year when their backfield was dealing with instability on the injury front as both JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards were in their first seasons back from suffering respective major knee injuries. His best games came against the Giants in Week 6 when he recorded 127 scrimmage yards and a touchdown on just 11 total touches and against the New Orleans Saints in Week 9 when he recorded 109 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns on 26 total touches.
Dobbins out for the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles and undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell still in injured reserve until at least Week 5. Veteran Justice Hill is dealing with a toe injury that could cause him to miss the Ravens’ Week 3 matchup with Colts according to a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Adding Drake gives the team more experienced and talented depth that they already know meshes with their culture..
#Ravens RB Justice Hill suffered a toe injury that could keep him out of the Week 3 matchup with the #Colts but shouldn’t result in a lengthy absence, per source.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 20, 2023
Baltimore signed vet Kenyan Drake as insurance.
While they already have veteran Melvin Gordon and undrafted rookie Owen Wright on the practice squad, the 29-year-old’s skill set most closely resembles Hill’s. Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters after practice that he is a “real good fit” for Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken’s multidimensional scheme.
“He’s talented,” Harbaugh said. “He’s fast, he’s an athletic guys, can catch balls out of the backfield and probably a real good fit for this offense.”
Monken’s scheme emphasizes getting playmakers the ball in space. Harbaugh was recently reminded that Drake possesses that dynamic ability when he was watching last year’s regular season games against the Cincinnati Bengals in preparation for their Week 2 game with their division rivals.
“He was on the tape and he had good games,” Harbaugh said. “I was thinking ‘man Kenyan Drake really looked good in those two games’. It’s kind of like that and next thing you know, here he is.”