Roster preview: Buck Allen a player on the bubble


Will Baltimore Ravens running back Buck Allen make the 53-man roster this season? Right now he’s a bubble player

Last week we talked about the possibility of linebacker Za’Darius Smith missing out on the 53-man roster. We now preview another player on the bubble: Buck Allen. After an impressive rookie campaign, Allen fell off last season. With Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon taking the reigns in the run game, does this spell the end for Allen?

After Justin Forsett suffered a broken arm in week 10 of the 2015 season, Allen got the starting nod. He impressed in six starts, finishing the season with 514 rushing yards and 353 receiving yards. It seemed the Ravens had found a young running back for their future.

But as it turned out, 2016 didn’t bring the same success. Allen only appeared in 8 games and was a healthy scratch most of the second half of the season. He dropped out of the offensive plans as Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon were the featured backs.

Fumbles Have Been a Problem

One of the possible reasons for this drop-off? Fumbles. Allen had trouble holding on to the ball his rookie season. It started in the preseason and carried over the second-half of the regular season. It was enough to eventually get him benched by head coach John Harbaugh. Once you are in the dog-house, it’s hard to get out.

Related Story: Baltimore Ravens tasked with tough running back decisions in 2018

Unless Allen can instill more confidence in the coaching staff, it’s hard to earn that trust back. West and Dixon impressed last season and showed they can handle a workload.

The interesting part of this situation is that Dixon will be suspended for 4 games to start the season. Does that leave a opening for Allen to make the roster?

Dixon Suspension Something to Monitor

The Dixon suspension will be something to monitor. Right now the Ravens have West, Woodhead and Allen as the main backs, along with other undrafted free agents. Lorenzo Taliaferro is also expected to be the starter at fullback.

Last season the Ravens took 4 backs on the roster, which included Kyle Juszczyk. Do they choose to keep Allen on for the beginning of the season until Dixon comes back? It’s hard to say. They are limited with just West and Woodhead, but that could be enough to handle for just four games.  They are going to have to make room for Dixon when he comes back. Would that mean replacing him for Allen? It seems like the Ravens could use that extra spot Allen would take up at a position like offensive line, where the depth is needed.

The Bottom Line

We will get a better look at the running back situation as training camp starts up. For right now, Allen has to be considered a bubble player. It’s hard to say he’s a lock for the 53-man roster when he was barely on the field last year and none of it had to do with injuries.

Next: Tim Patrick vs. Tim White: Who makes the 53-man roster?

The Ravens will be looking to turn the run game around this season. Averaging 91.4 yards on the ground per game won’t cut it this season.