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Ray Rice: You don't just bounce back from a hip injury

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice acknowledged in November that his early-season production suffered because he was more injured than he let on. At the time, Rice proclaimed himself 100 percent healthy even though coach John Harbaugh said there was no doubt the hip injury was still a factor.

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Now Rice is coming clean, admitting that he's been dealing with injuries all season.

"The injury I had this year wasn't something that you just bounce back from and say, 'Oh you know I had a hip,'" Rice said, via The Baltimore Sun. "It is definitely very hard to play through week in and week out. So when I look at things like that -- statistics -- I don't worry."

The Ravens entered last week's game averaging 2.97 yards per carry, the fourth-lowest figure since the 1970 merger. Rice is rushing for just 46.5 yards per game, down 32.7 yards from his career average. Although the hip injury has certainly been a hindrance, Rice has received little help from an offensive line that has struggled to adapt to Juan Castillo's zone scheme.

This season has been tough enough that Rice now says he will contemplate retirement after three more seasons, at which point he will be 30 years old.

On the positive side, Rice is averaging 4.24 yards per carry the past two games. His only other game over the 4.0 mark came as a "mudder" against a historically bad Bears run defense in Week 11.

We noticed in Monday night's victory over the Lions that Rice is still stiff in the hips on his cuts, but he's finally showing a semblance of burst on straight-ahead runs.

That gradual improvement is a good sign for a Ravens team trying to regain control of the AFC North over the final two weeks.

We examine coaches on the hot seat and chat with Packers guard Josh Sitton on the latest "Around The League Podcast."

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