OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens on Wednesday waived backup running back Melvin Gordon Jr., which opened the door for newly signed Dalvin Cook to be active for Saturday’s divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans.
Cook was granted his release from the Jets on January 3rd to join the Ravems for their playoff run.
He didn’t know his role after signing with the team so late in the season. However, Cook was prepared to do anything to help the Ravens reach the Super Bowl.
“I’m going to earn my rights,” Cook said. “These guys put in the work all year. I’m going to earn everything I get. I appreciate Coach [John] Harbaugh so much. You guys don’t understand; he’s a great a person. And for me, I’m just going to work my tail off [for] every opportunity that [will] come my way. I’m going to give it my all for these guys – [give them] everything I’ve got.
“So, for me, I’m going to earn everything I get, and I’m going to just lay it on the line for these guys.”
Gordon had 81 yards on 26 carries with a touchdown but had a fumble against the Steelers in the regular-season finale.
Cook joins Gus Edwards and Justice Hill as the Ravens’ running backs for the postseason. Edwards is a powerful downhill runner, while Hill is a speedy player who can dodge tackles. Cook has a combination of both of those skills and is capable of making explosive plays.
“I think I bring everything to the table, added to what those guys bring to the table, which is a lot,” Cook said about the Ravens’ running back room. “You’ve been seeing it all year with those guys. And with the O-line we’ve got, I think it makes everything better. We’ve got some guys up front. We’ve got some dudes up front that are ready to lay it on the line.”
Cook, 28, was a dominant runner in Minnesota, where he rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the previous four seasons. However, Cook had limited opportunities after signing with the Jets in the offseason and had 214 yards rushing on 67 carries.
Harbaugh has praised Cook’s work ethic since he signed with the team. Now, he might be able to showcase his skills in the biggest game of the season. The Ravens-Texans matchup will begin at 4:30 on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium.
“We view [Cook] as a very valuable or potentially valuable weapon on our offense,” Harbaugh said. “So, obviously, Dalvin Cook is a high-pedigree player – highly decorated player – and he still has talent and ability, and he’s smart. He’s in great shape; he’s in football shape. He’s been playing football [and] looked very good in practice out here today. So, I think he’s going to be a valuable part of our team and the playoffs here.”