Rice’s release opens door for CCU product Taliaferro

NFL: Preseason-Baltimore Ravens at Dallas CowboysThis isn’t exactly the way former Coastal Carolina University running back Lorenzo Taliaferro had hoped to get his shot at the NFL, but the Baltimore Ravens rookie is ready nonetheless.

The dark cloud that is being cast over the NFL by former fellow Ravens running back Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension for domestic violence may yet have a silver lining or two – not only to raise awareness about the issue, but also to expedite Taliaferro’s opportunity.

Rice’s dismissal over the fallout from the TMZ video showing him punching his now-wife on an Atlantic City elevator also opened a door for Taliaferro, who was listed fourth on the Ravens’ running back depth chart and did not play in Sunday’s 23-16 season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

After Rice’s release, Taliaferro has moved up to third on the depth chart following an impressive preseason. He rushed for an NFL-leading 245 yards on 65 carries and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass, although much of his playing time came late in exhibition games against lesser competition.

Taliaferro sat behind two veterans on Sunday – seventh-year player Bernard Pierce and third-year back Justin Forsett – neither of which was particularly impressive against the Bengals. The Ravens have a short week, hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night. Taliaferro hopes the primetime TV game is his breakthrough night in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of Baltimore Ravens

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