The seventh-year running back is coming off a season in which he battled hip and leg injuries and averaged a career-worst 3.1 yards per carry. Even worse was his offseason, which included an ugly arrest for assaulting his then-girlfriend.
Rice, 27, entered a pretrial intervention program to avoid prosecution for that incident, and spent the months after the season getting back into the type of shape that once made him one of the most versatile backs in the game. He's down 20 pounds from his bulky 2013 playing weight.
"He's definitely in good shape," quarterback Joe Flacco said at Ravens minicamp in June, according to The Baltimore Sun. "I don't know if he's any quicker or anything like that; you'll have to ask him. I can say he definitely looks good and he's running the ball well. Our guys are creating some room out there even with no pads on.
"We're creating some room out there and some holes, and sometimes that's tough to do in these kinds of practices. But I think we've looked really good and (Rice) has done a great job of pressing, cutting, getting in there and having the explosion afterward. He's shown a lot."
The only thing left standing in Rice's way of a proper comeback year is the NFL. Rice is a strong candidate for suspension in relation to his arrest. If Rice misses time, the running game falls Bernard Pierce, who's a question mark himself as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.