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Ravens release RB Melvin Gordon, Dalvin Cook likely to see work in playoffs

We look at the Ravens backfield heading into the NFL Playoffs

Melvin Gordon III #33 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter of the game at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens will face the Houston Texans on Sunday for their first game of the 2024 NFL Playoffs. As they prepare for that game, they have released running back Melvin Gordon. This comes after they picked up running back Dalvin Cook and placing him on the practice squad. This likely means Cook will be elevated ahead of their playoff game, as the team has been dressing three running backs and one fullback each week.

Gordon’s trouble with fumbles and his place as RB3 on the depth-chart made him the most expendable, but goal-line back Gus Edwards has also fumbled in his past two games. After bringing Cook in, head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters that he didn’t see him as insurance, but as a potential weapon in the playoffs, per Jamison Hensley.

The Ravens lost their starting running back, J.K. Dobbins in Week 1 to an Achilles injury and then lost rookie RB Keaton Mitchell late in the season to a knee injury. That has left Edwards and Justice Hill as the main two backs. Both have had productive years, as Edwards has 13 rushing touchdowns and 990 total yards, while Hill has four touchdowns and 593 total yards.

Cook ended up on the Jets this season after a good run with the Vikings, but he didn’t get much work and underperformed to the tune of 3.5 yards per carry on 67 attempts. Of course, in the Ravens run scheme that could change if given the opportunity.

There is no room for error in the playoffs, so we could see Cook get work over Edwards as soon as this week if they are worried about his fumbling, but it’s more likely that Cook we get his chance if Edwards were to fumble again. Hill should remain in his receiving back, RB2 role and has shown good upside there, while QB Lamar Jackson will get his yards on the ground as well.

Cook is a bit of a wildcard with not a great fantasy football ceiling, but if given the chance, he could win work ahead of Edwards, which would mean goal line opportunities.