A disappointing start to Kenneth Dixon’s NFL career continued Wednesday with the Ravens placing the running back on injured reserve shortly after ruling him out for their Week 2 game in Cincinnati.
Appearing in his first regular-season game since the end of his rookie season, Dixon left late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over Buffalo with a knee injury and didn’t return. The 2016 fourth-round pick from Louisiana Tech missed the entire 2017 campaign after undergoing left knee surgery in July.
Dixon has appeared in just 13 career games because of multiple knee injuries and also served two drug-related suspensions while he was sidelined last season. He rushed for a game-high 44 yards on 13 carries and scored one of six Baltimore touchdowns against the Bills, but the 5-foot-10, 228-pound back missed a sizable portion of training camp with a hamstring injury, which prevented him from seriously challenging starter Alex Collins or top backup Buck Allen for more carries in the Ravens backfield.
It’s unclear just how long Dixon will be sidelined, but NFL Network reported earlier Wednesday that he was expected to miss “several” weeks. Dixon would be eligible to be designated to return later in the season after sitting out a minimum of eight weeks. Teams are allowed to bring back two players from IR over the course of the season and do not need to make the designation in advance.
To take Dixon’s place on the 53-man roster, the Ravens promoted undrafted rookie running back De’Lance Turner, who rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown in the preseason.
The Ravens will also be without one of their top reserve cornerbacks against the Bengals as Maurice Canady was declared out with what’s listed as a thigh injury. The third-year defensive back missed the final three preseason games with a hamstring injury, but he played in the season opener and was even on the field for the final play of the game, making it unclear when he might have suffered a setback.
Canady’s absence means rookie cornerback Darious Williams is likely to be active after being a healthy scratch in Week 1. Baltimore was already dealing with the suspension of top cornerback Jimmy Smith, so not having the versatile Canady will further test the depth behind current starters Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr and nickel corner Tavon Young.
Rookie return specialist Janarion Grant was listed as questionable to play after being limited in practice with a hand issue, something worth monitoring going into Thursday’s game.
As expected, tight end Hayden Hurst (foot) and defensive tackle Willie Henry (hernia surgery) were declared out.
Only two Bengals players appeared on the final injury report as reserve wide receiver Cody Core (back) was listed as doubtful and linebacker Preston Brown (ankle) as questionable.
According to Weather.com, the Thursday night forecast at Paul Brown Stadium calls for clear skies and temperatures in the mid- to low-70s as the evening progresses with little to no wind.
Below is the final injury report of the week:
OUT: CB Maurice Canady (thigh), RB Kenneth Dixon (knee), DT Willie Henry (abdomen), TE Hayden Hurst (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: WR/RS Janarion Grant (hand)
DOUBTFUL: WR Cody Core (back)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Preston Brown (ankle)