What's buzzing:

NBC on Yahoo Sports

Ravens top 49ers 23-3 in preseason opener

Ray Rice savors return to field for Ravens before suspension

NBC on Yahoo Sports

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

Ravens running back Ray Rice said that the football field is his “safe haven” after the most troubling offseason of his career, and he enjoyed a successful return to the field in the Ravens preseason-opening 23-3 win over the 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday night.

Rice played only the opening series, but he carried three times for 17 yards in a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive.

Rice drew a loud ovation when he was introduced with the Ravens offensive starters before the game, a reception that he said “means the world" to him.

"You know what?" he continued. "Everything that I’ve been through, I don’t take anything for granted anymore, especially going out there and playing in front of our fans.”

To be sure, Rice will face an entirely different reception on the road this season, and will get his first taste of that next weekend when the Ravens visit Dallas.

After the game, Rice appeared relaxed speaking before a crowd at his locker in just his second public comments since he was suspended for the first two games of the regular season stemming from his February arrest on an assault charge after an altercation with his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City casino.

Rice is permitted to play in the Ravens’ four preseason games.

[RELATED: Mosley looked for parents after registering sack]

“It’s the preseason, but you know what? When you’re out there, it’s a regular-season game, and that’s how I have to approach this preseason because I know what’s coming forward,” Rice said. “Every  game I go out there, I’ll give it my best to let my teammates know … what you’re going to get when I’m able to come back. And that’s my job. … It’s a lot of respect that I have to go out there and earn because of the position I put myself in.”

Rice, who endured the worst season of his pro career last year, has looked noticeably lighter and quicker than last season.

“What I went through last year, in adding a little bit of extra weight, you can’t make the cuts and stuff like you want to do,” he said.

 Rice, who is listed at 206 pounds, gained the right edge and gained 6 yards on the Ravens first offensive snap. He later had a 6-yard gain inside the 49ers’ 10-yard line.

“Being able to circle the edge a little bit on the first play, and be able to get down there in the red zone, put my foot in the ground and go north, that’s the stuff that was missing last year,” he said.

“I don’t like to go too far back on last season, but the way last season ended especially for me personally, it felt good to get back out there and execute at a high level.”

- Bo Smolka, CSN Baltimore

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (1)
  • Texas-San Antonio manhandles UTEP in 25-6 win

    EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- Jarveon Williams had 28 carries for 133 yards and a touchdown as Texas-San Antonio beat Texas El Paso 25-6 in game delayed twice by lightning Saturday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • Everton, Liverpool draw 1-1 in Premier League

    Everton, Liverpool draw 1-1 in Premier League

    LIVERPOOL, England (AP) -- Everton and Liverpool drew 1-1 Sunday in the Premier League to keep Brendan Rodgers unbeaten in Merseyside derbies but still struggling to get his Reds properly firing. … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Irish credentials face first real test against Parisse's Italy

    By Padraic Halpin LONDON (Reuters) - Irish fans flocked to London again on Sunday confident the Six Nations champions will book their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a victory over Italy before marching into a group decider against … More »

    Reuters - 25 minutes ago
  • Montreal Canadiens sign forward Tomas Fleischmann to one-year deal

    Forward Tomas Fleischmann and the Montreal Canadiens agreed to a one-year contract reportedly worth $750,000 on Sunday. The 31-year-old Fleischmann played 66 games with the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks in 2014-15, scoring eight times and … More »

    The Canadian Press - 29 minutes ago
  • Berdych and Garcia-Lopez to meet in Shenzhen Open final

    (Reuters) - Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic will face Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in the final of the Shenzhen Open on Monday after both men won their rain-delayed semi-finals. The two semis were originally scheduled to be played on … More »

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago