The Baltimore Ravens re-signed Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach to a two-year deal, which was a much-needed move for the defending Super Bowl champions since they’ve now lost nine starters from last year’s team after tight end Dennis Pitta was ruled out for the remainder of the year with a fractured hip.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh had this to say on Leach:
Having Vonta back gives you a physical presence for sure with your offense: short yardage, goal line, also a leadership presence. Obviously, we’ve been hopeful that this would happen all along. This is not something that we weren’t hoping for. It worked out in our favor.
Leach is one of the last true fullbacks in the NFL, as his primary role is to clear holes for Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 2,507 yards and had 25 total touchdowns over the past two seasons with Leach leading the way.
The Ravens also signed veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to a one-year deal Sunday. He last played in an NFL game in 2011 with the Minnesota Vikings and has 243 receptions for 2,677 yards and 27 touchdowns in 148 career games. Last year, Shiancoe appeared in just four games with the New England Patriots and didn’t catch a single pass.
This move helps ease the loss of Pitta, who Harbaugh said has no ligament damage. He’s still out for the season, and should be able to start rehabbing in six to eight weeks.
The Ravens injury woes continued today, as the club announced they’ve lost sixth-round offensive lineman Ryan Jensen after he broke his foot, and will undergo surgery soon to repair the damage. Jensen is expected to be sidelined for around 10 weeks.