Baltimore Ravens rookie running back Keaton Mitchell busted two big plays in Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns but touched the ball four times and played only four offensive snaps in the second half.
Heading into Thursday night’s showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said the team erred in getting Mitchell on the field more and plans to correct the mistake moving forward.
“As you look back on it, [it’s] part of the process of getting a young guy in there and working him into the game plan as part of the process as we go. I don’t think we felt probably as an offensive coaching staff we were going to throw the whole game plan on him,” Harbaugh told reporters on Monday, via the team’s official website. “Those are the plays that get called from the groupings that were called in the second half. Looking back on it, would we have wanted him out there more? Yes. I think that’ll factor into this game plan.”
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Mitchell showed explosive ability, getting to the edge for a 39-yard touchdown run and catching his lone reception for a 32-yard swing pass. He ran the ball just two other times, losing five total yards. The rookie also nearly scored another TD on a wheel-route in the first half but couldn’t come down with the ball.
Mitchell’s second-level burst brings an added dimension to the Ravens offense. Gus Edwards is the red-zone tank, but getting Mitchell between-the-20s touches will help an offense that got unbalanced last week and paid the price when the pressure overwhelmed Lamar Jackson.
Mitchell should be in for a sizable workload on Thursday night, with the Ravens hosting the Bengals on a short week. Players with rested legs generally gobble up yards against defenses on three days rest. Cincinnati struggled to slow Devin Singletary last week (30/150/1), which could portend to a big day for Baltimore’s ground game.
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