The running back’s hip flexor strain does not appear serious and he could be ready to play this weekend against the Houston Texans. The Ravens do not have any plans for Rice to get an MRI on the injury that knocked him out of Sunday’s game against Cleveland.
“That’s the indication, that it’s not anything that’s really serious,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “We’d be looking at it if we thought it was. It will just be day-to-day with him.”
The plan is to get Rice plenty of rest, and Harbaugh indicated that the sixth-year running back may not practice at all this week.
“Ray is a guy that I probably would lean towards resting him this week and then see how he looks this weekend,” Harbaugh said. “He’s not going to need the practice to play in the game. But if he feels great, we’ll put him out there, and if he doesn’t we’ll probably rest him and get him ready to go Sunday if possible.”
Rice suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Browns when he fell to the turf trying to cut upfield. Rice was not hit on the play.
If Rice were unable to play Sunday, second-year running back Bernard Pierce would shoulder the load in the running game along with recently-acquired back Shaun Draughn.
“We’ve had confidence in Bernard really since the day he got here and starting practicing, because he showed what he’s all about and continues to get better,” Harbaugh said. “He’s becoming a complete back and we’re just very fortunate to have him on our team.”
Harbaugh was also asked about a play involving Rice earlier in the game, where Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor slapped him across the helmet. Taylor insinuated after the game that Rice spit on him, but Harbaugh did not see that.
“I have not talked to Ray about it. It was brought to my attention,” Harbaugh said. “I watched it and didn’t see that on the tape.”