Dixon (suspension) said he mistakenly took a substance without the proper NFL medical exemption, ESPN.com reports.
Previously expected to battle Terrance West for the Week 1 starting job, Dixon will instead prepare for an October debut in a backfield that now includes pass-catching maven Danny Woodhead, who joined the Ravens within the first few hours of free agency. It doesn't sound as if Dixon intends to fight his four-game suspension, instead vowing to focus on how he can help the team once his ban has concluded. This doesn't preclude the talented young runner from making an impact in his second NFL season, but the combination of four missed games and Woodhead's signing unquestionably dampers Dixon's 2017 outlook.
Dixon will be suspended for the first four games of the season for violation the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.
This throws a serious wrench in Baltimore's backfield plans, as Dixon was positioned for a key role heading into his second professional season. His absence could improve Terrance West's early-season outlook, but it might also inspire the Ravens to add another running back (or two) through free agency and/or the draft.
The rookie out of Louisiana Tech had a solid finish to his first season in the NFL, piling up 372 yards and three total touchdowns on 82 carries. He did not debut with the
Dixon gained 57 yards on 12 carries and secured one of three targets for one yard in Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Steelers.
Dixon out-touched Terrance West on the afternoon in terms of rushing opportunities, as the latter checked in with 10 carries. The rookie was productive with his relatively modest opportunities, with his 57 yards rushing representing a career high. Dixon has impressively been at 4.0 YPC or more in five of his last seven games, flashing plenty of potential as he increasingly gains experience. He'll look to finish off the season in strong fashion against the Bengals in Week 17.
Dixon put Baltimore up by two scores with a quick toss to the left and a 16-yard score early in the fourth quarter. The score was the rookie's second in as many weeks, but Sunday also snapped a three-game streak of double-digit touch games with at least 75 total yards for Dixon. Of particular concern to Dixon, who looked to be taking the lead job as recently as last week, was that he was held catchless during the contest. Dixon entered Sunday with at least four catches in four of his last five games, including eight last week, making him a particular threat in PPR leagues.
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