Dixon thank­ful for op­por­tu­nity to re­turn

Run­ning back work­ing back from sec­ond knee in­jury

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

As one of eight play­ers on in­jured re­serve, Ken­neth Dixon knows the Ravens could have eas­ily moth­balled his 2018 sea­son un­til next year.

In­stead, the team des­ig­nated the run­ning back as one of its two play­ers avail­able to re­turn from IR (cor­ner­back Mau­rice Canady is the other). And for that, Dixon is thank­ful.

“It means a lot,” Dixon, 24, said Wed­nes­day. “It shows that they be­lieve in me, and it shows that they know that I’ve been work­ing hard to get back. So I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it. Coach [John] Har­baugh is a re­ally good guy. He told me to stay ready be­cause he wanted to see me back. I just wanted to come back and play.”

Dixon has taken steps to­ward that sce­nario, prac­tic­ing two days be­fore last Sun­day’s win against the Ben­gals and again Wed­nes­day. The Ravens al­ready have four run­ning backs on their ac­tive ros­ter in Collins, Buck Allen, Ty Mont­gomery and rookie Gus Edwards, and Har­baugh was not pre­pared to say where Dixon would fall into that group.

“We’ll see,” Har­baugh said Mon­day. “He has to prac­tice more than one time. I have to see the guy prac­tice. If I see him prac­tice, I’ll know where he fits in.”

Dixon’s re­turn ap­peared shaky when Har­baugh said the run­ning back was deal­ing with “is­sues that are be­yond our coaches’ con­trol. We just have to wait for league clear­ance and things like that.” Like Har­baugh, Dixon would not elab­o­rate on what those is­sues were.

“It wasn’t any­thing that was bad, I prom­ise you that,” he said. “I just had to wait on con­fir­ma­tion.”

The 5-foot-10, 228-pound Dixon showed flashes of why the Ravens took him in the fourth round in 2016 when he rushed for 382 yards and two touch­downs as a rookie. But a torn menis­cus in his left knee sidelined him for the en­tire 2017 sea­son. He had rushed for 44 yards and one score be­fore suf­fer­ing an­other knee in­jury in the sea­son-open­ing 47-3 rout of the Buf­falo Bills.

Dixon said he’s ea­ger to help the Ravens with “any­thing that I can do to come back and help the team. I also wanted to come back and play be­cause I haven’t played for most of the year. It’s al­ways fun to get back out there and par­tic­i­pate.”

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