Ravens envision extremely heavy workload for Derrick Henry in 2024 season

Henry and the Ravens could be a perfect partnership
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans / Justin Ford/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens signed Derrick Henry to a two-year contract with the intent of giving their running game a shot in the arm. After a semi-committee featuring names like JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards in the last few seasons, Baltimore wants one dominant force to rise up above the rest.

While the Ravens have quality backups behind him, Henry's terrific numbers on a bad Tennessee Titans offense last year suggest that he could be in for a production bump playing next to MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson. Even at 30 years old, the Ravens will be counting on him.

Baltimore's backups include veteran Justice Hill, injured speed demon Keaton Mitchell, and rookie playmaker Rasheen Ali. They all have promise, but offensive coordinator Todd Monken sounds ready and willing to stick the ball in Henry's gut as much as possible this season.

Monken was quoted as saying it would be "a helluva year" if Henry got 300 carries this season. While this is a declaration of Baltimore's intention to make him the unquestioned lead back, Monken also said that a high diet of Henry carries likely means the Ravens will be in the lead during most of their games.

Baltimore Ravens expecting heavy workload for new RB Derrick Henry

Henry has led the league in carries in four of the last five seasons, and he was on pace to do so in 2021 were it not for an injury. He can handle the workload, and the Ravens have been crying out for a bell cow with his combination of physical tools and pedigree.

Every year since Jackson became the full-time starter in 2019, he has led the Ravens in rushing yards. While having a quarterback with unprecedented rushing ability is certainly cool, it also shows a general inability to pair him with a no-doubt star in the backfield.

Henry's value will be magnified late in the season. Not only does Henry have a history of performing in the postseason (as this fanbase knows all too well), but his consistency in the winter months should prevent a repeat of last season's AFC Championship Game, when the coaching staff seemed allergic to running the ball.

Hill, Mitchell, and Ali could all be useful pieces this season, especially as pass catchers. However, Baltimore brought Henry in to be a lead back who can carry the offense deep into the postseason, and Monken seems thrilled to build an offense around him.