Ray Rice played most of 2013 while dealing with a hip injury.
"I played through an injury and I probably should have thought twice about it, but I'm glad I was able to push through the season and not have any surgical procedures," Rice told FoxSports.com's Ross Jones. "One thing I know my body needed was rest, and we had a tough turnaround, and we didn't do what we wanted to this year, but I'm positive that things are looking better for next year already. We'll get this thing rolling again."
Rice said that most football players play through injuries, but he will be more particular about what wounds he battles through in the future.
"As a professional athlete, you're never 100 percent," he said. "I was good enough to go, but I was limited with the things that I could do. That's never been me. That's something as a pro you have to weigh the good and the bad. For me it didn't work out in my favor this year, but I'll be smarter."
Rice struggled for most of the season, averaging a career-low 3.1 yards per carry and ranking dead last among running backs by Pro Football Focus' standards. However, he improved down the stretch of the season.
Rice compared his 2013 season to trying to drive a damaged vehicle.
"It's sort of like having your transmission messed up in your car where you can't get it in third and fourth gear," Rice said. "First and second gear are good, but if you want to go into overdrive you can't do it. Your body is not going to let you, and that's what muscular issues do."
The 27-year-old running back said he has a lot more miles left in his legs and believes the Ravens' running game will get back in gear next year. Frankly, it can't be much worse.