Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett to split time for Ravens


Now that Ray Rice has been banished from Baltimore, the Ravens are huddling together to generate a new plan for their already overhauled running game.

Coach John Harbaugh told reporters Monday night that Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett will "both play a lot" and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro "will be a big part of it, too."

Pierce started the season opener, but was outplayed by Forsett and benched for fumbling.

"(Pierce is) fine, he's healthy," Harbaugh said after the game, via The Baltimore Sun. "I guess you can extrapolate from there. We're not too enamored with fumbles. It's not what we're looking for from our running backs."

Forsett has the trust of offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak from their time together in Houston. That said, the Ravens don't have the luxury of exiling the more talented Pierce to the dog house with Rice out of the picture.

At 5-foot-8 and 197 pounds, Forsett isn't built to carry the load. A prototypical journeyman, he has started just seven games in seven NFL seasons. Even if he's earned the right to start against a reeling Steelers run defense on Thursday night, Harbaugh is planning a committee attack.

"Anybody can have one good game," Forsett conceded. "You have to try to string them together and try to get better next week."

With a third-round pedigree and an every-down skill set, Pierce is the best bet to end up atop the rushing list by the end of the season. If he continues to struggle or goes down with an injury, Harbaugh and Kubiak won't hesitate to turn to the bruising Taliaferro as an early-down hammer complementing Forsett.

Sorry, fantasy footballers. The Ravens are going to wait for a hot hand to emerge until a pecking order is established.

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