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Dalvin Cook 'dialed up' for debut with Ravens in Divisional Round: 'I'm ready to give it all I have'

There's an unknown element for the Baltimore Ravens heading into their playoff run, and it has the potential to be a major boost for the AFC's No. 1 seed.

Dalvin Cook, a four-time Pro Bowl running back, is set to make his Ravens debut in today's Divisional Round matchup against the Houston Texans. While it remains to be seen what type of role he will have, Cook is champing at the bit to contribute to the league's No. 1 rushing offense in 2023.

"I'm not specifically looking forward to a [having] role or anything," Cook said Thursday, via team transcript. "They call 31's number, I'm going to be out there. I'm gone. I'm going to be on the field. I'm ready to make a play."

He's also ready to take on a larger workload if needed.

"Yes. It's the playoffs, man," Cook answered. "I'm dialed up. I'm ready to give it all I have -- everything I have in the tank. It's the playoffs, man."

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Cook's seventh NFL season hasn't gone exactly as planned, but fate has led him to his original ambition of contending for a Super Bowl. The 28-year-old joined the Jets' grand arrangement in 2023, which included a trade for four-time most valuable player Aaron Rodgers, but New York's ill-fated campaign led to a mutual parting ways after Week 17.

Baltimore soon came calling ahead of its regular-season finale after locking up the No. 1 seed with a league-best 13-4 record. Cook joins an RB room that has persevered through it's own injury woes after losing J.K. Dobbins and rookie Keaton Mitchell in 2023. Gus Edwards (810 yards) and Justice Hill (387) have contributed to the Ravens' league-leading 2,661 rushing yards (156.5 yards per game) in 2023, a mark spearheaded by quarterback Lamar Jackson (821).

"First off, they are great human beings, to be honest, great people," Cook said. "Justice, Gus, everybody in that room [are] great people, man. For me, I'm just looking to come add who Dalvin Cook is, just a little flavor to it. Those guys have been productive all year. You have to give credit to those guys. They've been grinding all year, but I'm just looking to come add a little flavor [and] add a couple more plays to help this organization win."

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is looking forward to finding out what Cook can add to the mix despite not being sure what to expect on Saturday.

"Dalvin will be in there," Harbaugh said. "I think it's going to be a great opportunity for him and for us. We'll be looking forward to seeing how he does. It's new. We haven't seen him out there. Just like you guys haven't seen him, we haven't seen him. We've seen him in practice. He looks good, and he's going to be out there like everybody else trying to do whatever he can do to help us win the game."

Cook entered 2023 having generated 1,300-plus scrimmage yards in each of the past four seasons, all of which ending with a Pro Bowl honor. His 106.7 career scrimmage YPG are third most in the NFL since coming into the league as a second-round pick in 2017.

That level of production from Cook drastically waned this year in New York thanks to lack of opportunity. His only game with 10-plus carries this season came in Week 1 (33 yards) and it was downhill ever since, ending nine games this year with five or fewer rushing attempts while failing to reach the end zone in 2023 altogether.

Perhaps Baltimore will benefit from it all as Cook enters the playoffs with a fresh pair of legs. To whatever capacity he's needed, the newest Ravens RB will be ready to answer opportunity's knock.

"[It's] a new start, clean slate," Cook said. "[I'm] not looking back; [I'm] looking forward. For me, it's just to go out there and showcase my talent again, just to go out there and put my talent on display and just show the world I'm still him. I'm still that guy, man. I'm just looking for an opportunity, and I got one. I have to take advantage of it."

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