Ray Rice misses practice again; fantasy owners should make a backup plan

Jason Miller

While his team refuses to say that Rice will miss Sunday's game, it is appearing less and less likely that the star running back will be available. We break down the fantasy implications.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was still out of practice Thursday as he recovers from a hip injury, according to Baltimore Sun beat writer Jeff Zrebiec. The Ravens have repeatedly refused to rule Rice out for Sunday, however.

Rice has rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries through two games this season. Head coach John Harbaugh said he's not holding to anything that says Rice has to practice to be able to play.

Fantasy impact: Rice is likely to be listed as a game-time decision, perhaps even doubtful, heading into Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. On the plus side for fantasy owners, the game is an early-afternoon matchup, so word on Rice should come down in time to make lineup adjustments. On the other hand, the Texans defense is stout, and if Rice does play, it likely won't be at full strength.

In short, Rice owners should definitely have an alternate plan lined up before Sunday. Backup running back Bernard Pierce will get the majority of the looks should Rice miss the game. He ran for 57 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries Sunday, with Rice hobbled, and has been a popular fantasy handcuff pick. He's a low-end No. 2 running back or a high-end flex if he's the guy.

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