While more flashy names such as Mark Ingram or J.K. Dobbins come to mind when thinking about the Baltimore Ravens running back group, Gus Edwards just keeps working and adding a pound element to the offense.
The 6-foot-1, 238-pound running back has been a forgotten man in the past when he didn’t get drafted after coming out of Rutgers in 2018. Before playing for Rutgers, Edwards spent four years at the University of Miami.
The Ravens signed Edwards as an updraft free agent in 2018 and he’s averaged 5.2 yards per carry in each of his last three seasons. He quickly established himself as a contributor to the Ravens offense and has taken an even bigger step this year.
“He’s really incredible. Gus [Edwards], he deserves a lot more credit than he gets. He’s the heart and soul, kind of, of our team, really, with everything he does; the way he runs the ball, you see the way he catches the ball, and he breaks tackles left and right. He’s a beast. He’s one of our best players. It’s just so much fun to play with him. And like I said, he’s one of our best players – the heart and soul of this team. We go as he goes, and ‘8’ [Lamar Jackson], as well. Those two guys really carried us,” Ravens tight end Mark Andrews said after the Ravens 27-13 win over the Giants.
Edwards is on pace for a career year this season. His 663 yards are just short of when he led the Ravens with a career- high 718 yards in 2018. Edwards has one game left to pick up 56 yards and set a new career mark. His six touchdowns this season are more than he has in his last two seasons combined.
It should be noted that Edwards is setting career highs with an offensive line that was already reeling after right guard Marshall Yanda retired and only got worse when left tackle Ronnie Stanley got injured and was done for the season.
That hasn’t stopped Edwards from utilizing his punishing style for offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Edwards is most effective running between the tackles, especially on the dive portion of the read-option when defenses are forced to account for Lamar Jackson pulling the ball and taking off on the outside.
Edwards is splitting carries with Dobbins and Ingram but he’s making the most of his opportunities. “I’m just taking what’s given to me out there. I’m just trying to make plays for my offense. I know how critical these games are. I’m just trying to make plays,” Edwards said.
This season Edwards is also becoming a threat as an option out of the backfield. He only has eight receptions for 119 yards, but four of his catches resulted in a first down for Baltimore’s offense. As they say, ‘The more you can do.’
“He’s catching the ball out of the backfield, now— it’s getting deadly. He can do it all now,” Jackson said. ‘He’s running it [and] getting yards after the catch. Gus [Edwards] is just being him. I’ve been saying that he’s ‘Gus the bus.’ He just keeps it going [and] living up to his name. I’m used to seeing it, so it’s not a surprise.”
The Ravens have control of their playoff destiny and can lunch their ticket to the postseason with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Edwards will have to play a key role of they win.