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Harbaugh: Gus Edwards gives Ravens RB they needed


The Baltimore Ravens have been searching for an answer at running back. Despite Alex Collins' production, Baltimore was on the prowl during the trade deadline to add a ball-carrier.

The Ravens traded for Ty Montgomery. He hasn't been the solution.

The answer, it seems, was sitting right in front of John Harbaugh the whole time: Undrafted rookie Gus Edwards.

The Rutgers product entered the game with 15 carries for 64 yards on the season. Sunday, he galloped for 115 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Along with Lamar Jackson rushing for 117 yards on 27 carries, the Ravens generated 265 yards on the ground in the 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

"Gus was North and South, he's a physical guy. He's been practicing really well," Harbaugh said of the rookie back after the victory, via the team's official website. "When those young guys start practicing well for weeks after weeks, we want to get them out there. Then he was playing well on special teams, so it kind of gave an indication that he was ready. He sure took the bull by the horns."

So few people prepared for Edwards to take on a massive role that he is rostered in zero percent of Fantasy Football leagues, per Guru Marcas Grant.

Maybe some should have seen it coming.

Edward's north-south style paired perfectly with Jackson's running threat. With Bengals defenders insistent on staying at home on the edge to defend the dynamic quarterback, Edwards had massive gaps up the gut to jaunt through. The rookie runner's ability to get up field quickly led to chunk gains.

"To give us that type of a back is very important," Harbaugh said. "He gives us that back that we probably didn't have earlier in the year. We've got four different guys who have different styles. I think that's a plus for us."

Edwards gained 90 of his 115 rush yards after contact and forced seven missed tackles by Bengals defenders, according to Pro Football Focus.

The rookie out-snapped Alex Collins 42 to 17 on Sunday, and while he doesn't provide much in the passing game, perhaps the Ravens finally found a stable driver out of the backfield.

"This was a must-win situation, we wanted to treat it like a playoff game," Edwards said. "With Lamar, they have to respect what he can do. When he hands it off, it takes a lot of pressure off me.

"I knew if I got my opportunity, I had to make the best of it. I got a lot of opportunities today. (I'll) keep doing everything that I was doing before I got this opportunity."

So long as Jackson remains under center, so too should Edwards keep the primary running back job. At the moment, their talents mesh too well together.