Rice ready to carry on

Rice ready to carry on
December 20, 2012, 9:00 pm
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For everyone clamoring for Ray Rice to get more touches, expect that to happen Sunday against the Giants. Not only do the Ravens want to establish the run with their No. 1 back, but No. 2 back Bernard Pierce remains sidelined by a concussion.

Pierce left the Ravens loss to the Broncos with a concussion and has not yet practiced this week.

If Pierce is unavailable, Anthony Allen will likely see time as the No. 2 back. He filled in for Pierce against the Broncos after the injury but did not have any carries. Allen, who began the season on the practice squad but then was promoted to the active roster a couple of weeks later, has five carries for 13 yards this season -- with four of those carries in the season opener against Cincinnati.

Allen, though, has been a major contributor on special teams as one of the lead blockers for kick returner Jacoby Jones. Jones, who has two kickoff return touchdowns this season, has mentioned that one of the keys to his success following Allen, the Ravens' seventh-round draft pick in 2011.

Whether Allen would play as much as Pierce -- who has 72 rushes for 320 yards this season as a rookie, remains to be seen.

Rice, who went over the 1,000-yard mark against Denver, was held to 38 yards on 12 carries against the Broncos. His workload is closely scrutinized after every game -- especially after losses. Rice explained this week that the Ravens' failure to sustain drives is directly related to his number of carries.

"If we execute at a high level, we execute on third down, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m coming out of the game with 18-25 touches," he said. "When you’re getting three-and-outs, three-and-outs, three-and-outs, and then the other team is scoring, there’s no time to hand the ball off to Ray Rice. We have to score fast."

For the season, Rice has 230 carries, which puts him on pace for about 262 for the season. Last season he had 291 carries, and 307 the year before that.

"My touches are going to come when we execute at a high level," he said. "But, am I disappointed? No. This year, I think I made the best of my touches. The numbers might be where they are, but I did gracefully go over 1,000 yards rushing for the fourth consecutive year. I think the O-linemen are going to want a gift for that."