Ravens' Kenneth Dixon done for season after surgery

Kenneth Dixon's meniscus tear is more extensive than the Baltimore Ravens originally believed.

The second-year running back is expected to miss the entire 2017 season after undergoing surgery to repair his medial meniscus on Tuesday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed for the situation. Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed Wednesday that Dixon is indeed out for the season.

Before Dixon went under the knife, the Ravens hoped he would miss just a few weeks with a "trim" rather than a full repair. While Tuesday's procedure bodes well for Dixon's long-term health, the recovery timetable is four-to-five months.

A physical, tackle-breaking runner with above-average receiving ability, Dixon was expected to complement Terrance West on early downs and Danny Woodhead in passing situations. He was already slated to miss the first four games of the season under suspension for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy.

His season-long absence is a significant blow to a beleaguered backfield that offered little in the way of big-play ability last season. Early this offseason, Harbaugh raved about the former Louisiana Tech star as a young player with the potential to become a "top back in this league."

In the wake of Dixon's surgery, Baltimore has signed journeyman tailback Bobby Rainey to add depth behind West, Woodhead and Javorius Allen.

Should that quartet fail to live to expectations in training camp, perhaps the Ravens will take a look at available free agents such as Rashad Jennings, DeAngelo Williams, Khiry Robinson or James Starks.

If the team's brass is desperate enough to send out trade feelers, Carlos Hyde is a name to keep in mind. San Francisco's new regime has been reluctant to gift-wrap the starting job for the oft-injured power back. Hyde entered the league under former 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who is now a Baltimore assistant charged with revitalizing the ground attack.

The Ravens are confident they have a championship-caliber defense this season. To make it back to the playoffs, though, they're going to need marked improvement out of the running game.

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