RB Willis McGahee is scheduled to have surgery on his left knee today.
In the long-run, this will help McGahee stay healthy as his knee has bothered Willis as far back as last season. He missed the last 2 games of the 2007 because of it.
However, in the short-term, this handcuffs the Ravens at the RB position, as McGahee will probably miss the first few weeks of the season.
Rookie RB Ray Rice has a lot of potential, but based on his performance last Thursday in a preseason game against the Patriots, he has a long way to go to lives up to it. He rushed for only 12 yards on 6 carries.
Now I'm not about to change my opinion on Rice based on one lousy preseason game, but it would be nice if the Ravens' RB options outside of Rice were more than special-team specialists P.J. Daniels and Cory Ross.
Last time I checked, RB's Shaun Alexander, Cedric Benson and Travis Henry were still free agents and all could be had for cheap. They all would offer the Ravens some depth at the RB position to start the season and bring a veteran presence to the Ravens while McGahee gets healthy.
Of the three, I would look to sign Benson, who is still young, and hungry to erase his time in Chicago. A former 4th overall pick in 2005, Benson was a bust with the Bears over the course of 3 years, never topping more than 674 yards in a given season. Benson was so disappointing, that the Bears drafted Tulane RB Matt Forte in the second round and then signed Kevin Jones of the oft-IR ilk to replace Benson.
Despite Benson's troubles living up to his draft pick status, I would still prefer him over Shaun Alexander, who has failed to stay healthy in the last 2 seasons and is clearly on his way out of the league -- and Travis Henry, whose off the field problems caused him to get cut by each of the Bills, Titans and Broncos.
The other option is sticking with Rice, who's been impressive in training camp, but will have to play well against the Vikings come Saturday to ease my doubts about the Ravens current running game situation.
Here's to hoping Rice will perform, and become the answer while McGahee gets healthy.