OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is adding an accomplished option at running back for the postseason run beginning in two weeks.
After parting ways with the New York Jets earlier this week, four-time Pro Bowl selection Dalvin Cook is set to join Baltimore’s practice squad as another veteran option to go with Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and Melvin Gordon. It’s no secret the Ravens were exploring adding a notable running back at the trade deadline in late October, and that was before surprising rookie Keaton Mitchell suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 15. Despite losing starting running back J.K. Dobbins to a torn Achilles tendon in the season opener, the Ravens have still had the NFL’s top-ranked ground attack with superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson leading the way with 821 rushing yards.
Released by Minnesota in June despite eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards for the fourth straight season in 2022, the 28-year-old Cook signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Jets in mid-August, but he averaged just 3.19 yards per carry and saw his role diminish over the course of the season with Breece Hall serving as New York’s feature back. After being a healthy scratch in Week 17, Cook and the Jets agreed to part ways before he went unclaimed on waivers. It remains to be seen whether Cook will leapfrog Gordon — who’s averaged 3.3 yards per carry in limited action this season — on the depth chart, but his arrival is an interesting wrinkle so late in the season as the Ravens hold the No. 1 seed for just the second time in franchise history and first time since 2019.
A 2017 second-round pick out of Florida State, Cook has rushed for 6,207 yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry over his career.
As for Saturday’s regular-season finale against Pittsburgh, the Ravens officially ruled out six players, a list including three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Lamar Jackson (rest), cornerback Marlon Humphrey (calf), right guard Kevin Zeitler (knee/quad), and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (rest). Baltimore also listed rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers as doubtful to play as he continues to deal with a calf issue.
Pro Bowl safety Kyle Hamilton (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday and was officially designated as questionable on the final injury report, but he appears likely to miss a second straight game with the Ravens having nothing to gain in terms of postseason ramifications in Week 18. Starting cornerback Brandon Stephens (ankle) is also questionable, but he practiced fully Thursday for the first time since sitting out last Sunday’s win over Miami.
The Steelers listed two defensive starters — safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and inside linebacker Elandon Roberts — as questionable for Saturday’s game. Pittsburgh has won two straight games and can still qualify for a playoff spot with a win and additional help.
Below is the final injury report for Week 18:
OUT: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (rest), LB Malik Harrison (groin), CB Marlon Humphrey (calf), QB Lamar Jackson (rest), DB Daryl Worley (shoulder/ankle), G Kevin Zeitler (knee/quad/rest)
DOUBTFUL: WR Zay Flowers (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Ronald Darby (illness), S Kyle Hamilton (knee), CB Arthur Maulet (hip), CB Brandon Stephens (ankle), WR Tylan Wallace (knee), DB Ar’Darius Washington (pectoral)
QUESTIONABLE: S Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee), ILB Elandon Roberts (pectoral), S Trenton Thompson (neck)