The Ravens signed veteran running back Mike Davis to a one-year deal Tuesday, adding depth to a position with looming injury questions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In a corresponding move, the Ravens withdrew their exclusive-rights tender to running back Ty’Son Williams, sending the former starter to free agency. Williams, who had 142 rushing yards over his first two games last season and just 43 yards over his next 11, was tendered in March but did not sign the one-year deal.
Davis, 29, was released by the Falcons after the NFL draft last week. In his one season in Atlanta, he appeared in 16 games and started eight, rushing for 473 yards (3.6 per carry) and three touchdowns. He added 41 catches for 261 yards and a score. Davis, a former fourth-round pick out of South Carolina, has rushed for over 4 yards per carry just once in his seven-season NFL career.
Davis is the Ravens’ third running back addition since last month’s draft. The team took Missouri’s Tyler Badiethe Southeastern Conference’s leading rusher, in the sixth round, then signed undrafted North Carolina State standout Ricky Person Jr.
The Ravens’ top two running backs, JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, are recovering from season-ending knee injuries, and their recovery timetable is unclear. Coach John Harbaugh said in March that both could open training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Reserve Justice Hill is also coming back from a torn Achilles tendon.
After parting with Williams, who played just four offensive snaps over the second half of last season, the team’s only healthy veteran running back is Nate McCrary, who’ll enter camp on the roster bubble. The Ravens have led the NFL in rushing in two of the past three years, but Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray struggled at times last year behind a patchwork offensive line and were not re-signed.
Davis, the Falcons’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee last season, has 544 carries for 2004 yards (3.7 per carry) and 14 touchdowns over his career, along with 166 catches for 1,064 yards (6.4 per catch) and four touchdowns.