Run­ning back West shines in first start

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL & NATIONAL SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— Bal­ti­more na­tive Ter­rance West started his first game as a Raven Sun­day and made the most of the op­por­tu­nity.

West rushed 21 times for 113 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and a touch­down in a 28-27 loss to the Oak­land Raiders. He be­came Bal­ti­more’s first 100-yard rusher of the sea­son.

Still, head coach John Har­baugh would not name West the starter go­ing for­ward.

“I’m not go­ing to say that,” Har­baugh said Mon­day. “I’m not go­ing to get into all of that. That’s all great to write about, but it’s noth­ing for us to waste any en­ergy on. We’re go­ing to put the guys out that are play­ing well.”

Sun­day was the first time that a Ravens run­ning back re­ceived a bulk of the work­load. West had pre­vi­ously split car­ries with Justin Forsett.

OWINGS MILLS

Forsett, the start­ing back for Bal­ti­more’s first three games, was a healthy in­ac­tive for the Oak­land game. Sec­ond-year run­ning back Buck Allen was ac­ti­vated for the first time this year.

“We went ahead and brought ‘Buck’ up, and the thought there was to give ‘Buck’ a chance,” Har­baugh said. “He’s been work­ing hard, and he’s a tal­ented guy, and [we wanted to] give him a chance to get in there and see what he could do. And [we wanted to] give Ter­rance more car­ries and give him a chance to see what he could do. I thought it worked well. He did a good job and ran hard.”

Allen car­ried three times for 13 yards and caught two passes for 15.

Forsett has been the Ravens’ lead­ing rusher each of the past two sea­sons, but was re­leased Tues­day af­ter be­ing largely in­ef­fec­tive in the early part of the year.

Rookie Ken­neth Dixon has missed the first four games with a sprained knee, but re­turned to prac­tice last week. He could de­but Sun­day against Wash­ing­ton.

Dixon ap­peared to be chal­leng­ing for the start­ing job be­fore sus­tain­ing the in­jury in Bal­ti­more’s third pre­sea­son game, which put four run­ning backs on the 53-man ros­ter.

“Justin Forsett is a high­lyre­spected, highly-val­ued guy in my eyes and the eyes of all of us. It is a com­pet­i­tive world that we are in,” Har­baugh said prior to the Ravens re­leas­ing the vet­eran run­ning back. “It is a com­pet­i­tive league; it is a com­pet­i­tive sport. He knows that as well as any­body. It doesn’t di­min­ish him in any way. It just en­hances him, in my mind, in terms of how he han­dles it. We will just have to see.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GRO­GAN

Bal­ti­more run­ning back Ter­rance West rushed for 113 yards and a touch­down in his first start with the Ravens on Sun­day.

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