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Message sent? Justin Forsett takes reps over Ray Rice

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Thursday that he was "very concerned" with some of the off-field problems of his players this offseason. He sent a louder message to his running back group on the field this week.

Journeyman free-agent pickup Justin Forsett took most of the reps with the first team during the first week of OTAs, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley. This sure looks like Harbaugh's way of scolding Ray Rice, the team's three-time Pro Bowl running back who received a $15 million signing bonus from the team just two years ago. Forsett is set to make $730,000 this year.

With Bernard Pierce out with a shoulder injury, Harbaugh didn't have anywhere else to turn to send his message. Like Rice, fourth-round pick Lorenzo Taliaferro was arrested this offseason.

Hensley notes that Rice looked "noticeably slimmer" and had good burst, although Forsett was even faster. Perhaps the Ravens are preparing for Rice to be suspended early in the season, a time when Forsett could have a role as the team's third-down back. It's more likely that Harbaugh wanted to express his displeasure with Rice's offseason, despite the running back's uncomfortable apology last week for his arrest on simple assault charges. 

We'd be stunned if Forsett keeps taking snaps over Rice by the time real practices start.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" breaks down the news and examines developments from the first week of OTAs.

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