The Baltimore Ravens‘ roster was decimated by injuries in 2021, but perhaps no position was hit harder than running back. Within the span of a few weeks, the team lost their top three running backs for the entire season.
J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill all went down with season-ending injuries before Week 1 forcing the Ravens to turn to unproven youngsters and over-the-hill veterans. The results weren’t pretty.
But with Dobbins, Edwards, and Hill all returning from injury in 2022, the Ravens’ running game could return in full force this season, especially following the additions of players like Mike Davis and Tyler Badie.
The Ravens’ running back room is now loaded with depth, but that depth could leave one player on the outside looking in. Perhaps that player could be Justice Hill.
The Ravens could consider trading Justice Hill this summer
Oestreicher mentioned that the Ravens could look to trade Hill this summer given the team’s abundance of depth in the backfield. The idea makes plenty of sense too.
A fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Hill received ample opportunities as a rookie rushing for 225 yards and two touchdowns on 58 carries, but he never managed to establish himself as anything more than an extra body in the backfield rotation.
That was evidenced by his significant drop in playing time the following year once Dobbins joined the fray. Hill was limited to just 17 offensive touches (12 carries) in 2020 as he saw most of his playing time on special teams.
Hill was expected to fill a similar role in 2021 while competing for the RB3 role behind Dobbins and Edwards, but once his teammates went down with injuries, it seemed as though he could take on a much larger role.
That was until he tore his Achilles in early September as he joined Dobbins and Edwards on the season-ending injured reserve. Now, entering the 2022 season, he’ll be competing with the likes of Davis and Badie for that RB3 role.
Of the three, he seems to be the least likely to win the job. Hill’s coming off a major injury and hasn’t contributed to an NFL offense since 2019, and even then he was hardly super productive.
His best chance of sticking around would be to prove his worth on special teams, something he did back in 2020. If not, perhaps the Ravens would be able to ship him away for a Day 3 pick this summer.
Justice Hill’s roster spot is far from secure, but there’s always the chance the Ravens could still recoup an asset for him if he didn’t make the team.