Rice says he's fine, hopes for breakout game Sunday

Rice says he's fine, hopes for breakout game Sunday
October 18, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Ravens talk about rivalry with Steelers

(Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports)

Ray Rice says don’t blame his health if he does not have a breakout game Sunday.

“There’s no way you can’t call me full strength,” Rice said Friday in a noisy Ravens’ locker room. “When I’ve had a chance to hit the hole…You’ve seen what I did when I ran down Dallas Clark last week. When I get the chance to hit it, you’ll see I’m at full strength.”

However, until Rice starts to have Rice-like performances, the running game remains a major concern for the Ravens. Over the previous four seasons, Rice averaged 79.2 yards rushing per game, and 4.6 yards per carry. This season, Rice has averaged just 39.4 yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry.

Rice suffered a hip pointer in Week 2, missed Week 3, and since returning in Week 4, his production has not picked up. The offensive line has struggled to create holes, and Rice has not taken advantage of his few opportunities in open space. However, Rice wasn’t buying any talk about losing explosiveness, and he remained upbeat about the offensive line and the remainder of the season.

“Without going into too much detail with it, you’ll just see a lot more changes on Sunday in terms of what we’re going to do,” Rice said. “We’re running the same stuff – it just might be out of a different formation or something. We’ve just got to execute, It’s not the play-calling. It’s just the way we’ve got to execute.

“I don’t have frustration. Like I said (we’re) not winning football games enough. I’ve dealt with my own adversity with my injury, but I’m back. Looking forward to this game, getting back from the bye week, getting some time away, and then I’ll come back the second half of the year ready to roll again.”

But until Rice gets rolling, the questions about the Ravens’ running game won’t stop.

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