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AFCN: Ray Rice doubtful for the Ravens against the Houston Texans

Taking a look around the AFC North, Ray Rice and a handful of others are listed as doubtful in Baltimore's growing infirmary.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have had their struggles this year. Following a blowout to the Denver Broncos during kickoff weekend, Baltimore needed all of the help they could get against the Cleveland Browns, narrowly beating their division rivals 14-6. During the game, running back Ray Rice suffered a left hip flexor strain. The injury kept the Pro Bowl running back out of practice this week and he's doubtful against the Houston Texans on Sunday. If he's unable to go, Rice's streak of 43 consecutive starts, the longest by an active running back in the NFL, will come to an end.

Backup running back Bernard Pierce, with a 2.8 yard/carry average on 28 attempts this season, figures to get the start.

"Pierce is a hard-nosed tough runner that enjoys contact," writes Jason at Baltimore Beatdown. "He often lowers his shoulder to deliver blows to defenders as opposed to taking them. If the Ravens' offensive line can generate a push against a sound Texans' front, then Pierce might be able to help the Ravens control the clock this Sunday."

Shaun Draughn, who was signed ten days ago when Jacoby Jones suffered a knee injury against the Broncos, will backup Pierce.

Rice isn't the only player in Baltimore's mounting infirmary. Defensive end Chris Canty (groin), linebacker Arthur Brown (pectoral strain), defensive tackle Brandon Williams, and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot) join Rice as doubtful while wide receiver Jacoby Jones (knee) and center Ryan Jensen (foot) are already declared as out.