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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Ravens may have found their kick returner

By Jamison Hensley

The Baltimore Ravens signed free-agent running back Shaun Draughn, who could fill the team's void at kickoff returner.

The Ravens are likely without Pro Bowl returner Jacoby Jones for at least a month. Draughn, who was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 31, has experience returning kickoffs. His 23.3-yard average last season ranked 20th in the NFL among players with at least 20 returns.

Draughn will make more of an impact on special teams than on offense. He hasn't been effective as a running back, averaging 3.9 yards per carry last season and 2.9 yards in the preseason. He gained 40 yards last season against the Ravens, his second-highest total in 2012.

"He's been a good special-teams player. He's been a good kickoff returner. And he's been a good running back," coach John Harbaugh said. "He played against us last year and played very well."

Backup running back Bernard Pierce handled kickoffs after Jones was injured. The Ravens' top two kickoff returners on their depth chart, Jones (knee) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot), are both injured.

The Ravens didn't immediately announce who was released to make room for Draughn.