The Baltimore Ravens have needed running back help for the entirety of the 2021 season after losing three of their top running backs in the summer. But the recently-released Phillip Lindsay isn’t an answer to their problems.
Lindsay was released on Tuesday by the Houston Texans after playing 10 games with the team this season. A former Pro Bowler, Lindsay’s name was immediately connected to a number of running-back-needy teams.
Perhaps none more so than the Ravens.
This makes sense given the team’s obvious need at the position. But what most fail to realize is just how bad Lindsay had been this season.
Phillip Lindsay would not be an upgrade for the Ravens
Pro Football Focus has a stat called “Elusive Rating” which is meant to determine the success of a running back independent of their blocking. It’s far from a perfect statistic, but it does help provide some context.
Only one running back in the entire NFL (among qualifiers) has an elusive rating below 13.0. That player is Lindsay, whose abysmal 3.7 rating is easily the worst in the league.
The second-worst? Latavius Murray, whose rating checks in at a very poor 13.4.
Even with one of the least efficient running backs in the NFL serving as their de facto RB1 for most of the year, Lindsay still wouldn’t be an upgrade.
And if advanced analytics aren’t your thing, consider Lindsay’s woeful 2.6 yards per carry this season. He’s rushed for just 130 yards on 50 carries. He has only four targets in the passing game this year and he’s dropped one of them.
On top of that, he hasn’t even been effective in pass protection allowing a sack on just 10 pass-block snaps in 2021.
There’s a reason he was essentially benched by Houston and then released. He’s been as ineffective as any running back could be.
The Ravens need running back help. Freeman has proved to be a competent rotational back, but the rest of the room leaves a lot to be desired.
Murray is little more than a short-yardage back at this stage and Ty’Son Williams can’t even get on the field. The Ravens need help. But Lindsay isn’t the help they need.
This isn’t the 2018 version of Phillip Lindsay. At 27-years-old, the 2021 version of Phillip Lindsay is no longer an effective running back.