Late Tuesday afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens received some bad news. Ian Rapoport reported that second year running back Kenneth Dixon had surgery on his meniscus, and will miss the entire 2017 season. Despite not starting a single game in 2016, Dixon still managed to compile 544 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.
Kenneth Dixon out for the Year
Source: #Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon will be out for the season. He had his medial meniscus repaired today – not trimmed. Out 4-5 months. Brutal
As a franchise, the Baltimore Ravens have struggled to find a feature back since Ray Rice was released following his suspension as a result of domestic abuse. Gary Kubiak was able to gimmick a 1,000 yard season out of Justin Forsett when he started for the team, but his success was clearly a product of the system. The Ravens are a franchise built on running the ball, doing so with Jamal Lewis, Willis McGahee, and then Rice, but they won’t be able to lean on Kenneth Dixon to fill that void this season.
Instead, the Ravens will likely look to Terrance West, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and free agent acquisition Danny Woodhead to provide the team with a consistent rushing attack. The crowded backfield lacks a true feature back, and the team will likely look to rush by committee.
Meanwhile, John Harbaugh and company are hoping that this is the year where quarterback Joe Flacco finally becomes a true franchise quarterback. Flacco finally threw for over 4,000 yards in 2016, but he still turned the ball over far too much for a player that has yet to toss 30 touchdowns. The retirement of Steve Smith Sr. will definitely hurt the passing attack, but they’ll hope free agent Jeremy Maclin can fill his role. Because if there’s one thing the Ravens love more than featured backs and fierce defenders, it’s veteran wide receivers.