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Ray Rice was more hurt than he let on; RB now healthy

Just three NFL running backs have accrued at least 75 rushes this season with a per-carry average of fewer than 3 yards. All three will be on the field Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens travel to the Cleveland Browns.

It has been even worse for the Ravens, as Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce entered the Week 8 bye ranked first and second in the NFL in percentage of runs that have generated two yards or fewer.

There is reason for optimism coming out of the bye, however.

Pierce said earlier this week that this is as collectively healthy as the backfield has been since Rice injured his hip in Week 2.

The week off apparently did wonders for Rice's lower body.

After a lengthy conversation with the running back, WBAL-TV's Gerry Sandusky relayed to NFL Media's Andrew Siciliano on Friday's edition of NFL Network's "Around the League Live" that Rice's early-season injuries were more significant than the running back was letting on. Rice emphasized that he finally is back to 100 percent and can't wait to prove it to those who deduced that his dip in production was the beginning of the end of his career.

We never suspected Rice's career was on the downslope, but we did address his noticeable decline in lateral agility on Friday's "Around The League Podcast." He simply hasn't made tacklers miss in the open field.

The Ravens' ground attack will have to get jump-started without left guard Kelechi Osemele, who is likely out for the season with a back injury.

Rice is undaunted, though, telling Sandusky that he is "just getting started and ready to hit the 'on' switch coming out of the gate Sunday in Cleveland."

We preview every Week 9 game in the latest "Around The League Podcast."

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