Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon suffers meniscus tear

Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon enters his second season facing more adversity.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Dixon suffered a tear in his meniscus, according to a source informed of the situation. He'll have surgery today. The hope is that it's just a trim of the meniscus and not more invasive. The Ravens will know more after the procedure.

The Baltimore Sun first reported the news.

Dixon was already slated to miss the first four games of the season due to suspension for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy.

The injury sets him back even further.

Meniscus tears generally come with a six- to eight-week recovery period, but can be longer depending on the severity of the damage. Dixon dealt with a knee injury to open last season.

The suspension, coupled with the injury, puts a damper on what could have been an optimistic second season for the 23-year-old running back. At 5-foot-10, 212 pounds, Dixon combined power and speed for 4.3 yards per carry on 88 totes with 30 receptions for 162 yards as a rookie. With a powerful lower body, Dixon owns the ability to churn out yards while remaining elusive in the open field.

There were inconsistencies and he dealt with injuries as a rookie, but the Ravens expected him to make strides in Year 2 after improving down the stretch in 2016.

John Harbaugh said at the NFL combine that Dixon could be a "top back in this league." Then the suspension and injury struck.

Now the question is what role he'll be ready to play in 2017.

Baltimore signed Danny Woodhead this offseason as a passing-down back. His role will likely increase as Terrence West takes most of the first- and second-down snaps.

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reported that the Ravens plan to sign veteran backup Bobby Rainey to round out a running back corps that includes Lorenzo Taliaferro, Javorius Allen and undrafted rookie Taquan Mizzell.

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