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TAMPA, FLORIDA – Latavius Murray (#28) of the New Orleans Saints dives forward during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Raymond James Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo : Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
After a spate of injuries, the Baltimore Ravens got much-needed help with their backfield, signing running back Latavius Murray to a one-year contract on Friday. According to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, Murray’s deal with the Ravens is worth up to $2 million.
This week, the 31-year-old becomes Baltimore’s fourth running back signing, joining Trenton Cannon and veterans Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman. Bell and Freeman are currently on the Ravens’ practice squad.
Latavius Murray bolsters Baltimore’s injury-plagued backfield
Ravens coach John Harbaugh lauded Murray’s signing, saying his style is a great fit and that you can picture him pretty easily in the Ravens’ offense. Murray was available in the free agency market after the New Orleans Saints abruptly cut him on Tuesday when he refused to take a pay cut ahead of the new season.
Murray’s timely addition comes a day after the Ravens lost running back Gus Edwards for the season due to a torn ACL injury. Edwards is the third running back Baltimore has lost to a season-ending injury ahead of the 2021 opener against the Las Vegas Raiders, all of which have come during a short 12-day span.
Before Edwards’ injury, projected starter J.K. Dobbins tore the ACL in his left knee in the Ravens’ final preseason game against Washington Football Team on August 28. Justice Hill, who was Baltimore’s projected No. 3 back, then tore his Achilles tendon on September 2 during practice.
The injury bug did not spare Baltimore’s defense as Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters suffered a torn ACL the same day Edwards hurt his knee in practice. It has been a rough stretch for the Ravens, who have had five of their players suffer season-ending injuries over a short 19-day period.
Murray expected to be the Ravens’ main running back this season
Those unfortunate injuries in Baltimore’s backfield have opened the door for Murray to stake his claim to be the Ravens’ starting running back this coming season. Murray was a valuable backup to Alvin Kamara in New Orleans last campaign, running for 656 yards and averaging 4.5 yards per carry in 2020. Murray has amassed 4,991 rushing yards, 1,294 receiving yards, and 45 touchdowns in his seven-year NFL career.
Latavius Murray: “I’m a downhill runner, one cut and go. I try not to do too much dancing. I like to think I have a nose for the end zone and I know how to protect the quarterback and catch the ball when it’s thrown to me.” pic.twitter.com/cvYY6iQSwq
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) September 10, 2021
Murray’s arrival will be a major boost to a Ravens’ ground attack that averaged a league-best 198.9 rushing yards per game the previous two seasons. Murray will join Baltimore’s running back group that now has Ty’Son Williams as its starter for the Monday Night Football game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Williams spent last season on Baltimore’s practice squad, and the 25-year-old still doesn’t have an NFL carry in his career.
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