Ravens Activate Gus Edwards, Place J.K. Dobbins on Injured Reserve

Ravens RB Gus Edwards

Getty Ravens RB Gus Edwards stiff arms a defender during a preseason game on August 21, 2021.

For the first time since he went down with a torn ACL just before the start of the 2021 season, Baltimore Ravens‘ running back Gus Edwards will be back in action. The team officially activated him from the Physically Unable to Perform List in time for their big Week 7 AFC North matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

The two parties were encroaching on the deadline to decide whether to move him to the active roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve. He has been practicing for the past few weeks and all of his coaches and teammates have raved about how he has looked in his return from major knee surgery.

“Gus is looking really good,” Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said on October 20, 2022. “I think he’s on track. We’re really excited about having him back.”

Edwards is a former undrafted gem that earned the nickname ‘Gus the Bus’ as a bruising ball carrier known for his rugged north-south running style. However, prior to his injury, he was developing into a complete back who could contribute to the passing game as a receiver out of the backfield.

The fifth-year pro rushed for over 700 yards in each of his first three seasons in the league and according to Pro Football Reference, has a career average of 5.2 yards per carry. In 2020, he recorded career-highs as a pass catcher with nine receptions on 13 targets for 129 yards and 14.3 yards per catch despite averaging 9.9 yards per target.

The last time Edwards played against the Browns was in Week 13, 2020 and he carried the ball seven times for 49 yards and a pair of scores. He has recorded 255 total yards from scrimmage in five career games in this particular divisional series.

J.K. Dobbins Placed Injured Reserve

Edwards will be replacing the third-year pro on the active roster a day after it was reported that he would be undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and miss between 4-6 weeks. As unfortunate as this development is, his latest setback from his own major knee injury thankfully isn’t season-ending and the team’s cupboard isn’t bare at the position.

In addition to Edwards, the Ravens also have veterans Kenyan Drake and Mike Davis as well as fourth-year pro Justice Hill. Drake is coming off a breakout game against the New York Giants in Week 6 where he led the team with 119 rushing yards on 10 carries. Hill is slated to make his return after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. He was a full participant in practice all week and was averaging 6.6 yards per carry before he limped off the field in the fourth quarter of the team’s Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Top Storylines In Week 7 v Browns

Legends Will Be In The Building

The Ravens will be honoring the 2012 Superbowl-winning team on Sunday before the game so there will be several familiar faces and franchise legends in attendance at the M&T Bank Stadium. The current team will likely be inspired by the mere presence and probably a fiery pregame speech from Hall of Fame inside linebacker Ray Lewis. Other retired stars and fan favorites will include the likes of Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed, future Hall of Famers Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Marshal Yanda, and many more. There will be a lot of pressure on the 2022 squad to show up and show out in the game slated to kick off at 1 pm Eastern and will be broadcasted on CBS.

Will Offense Get Back On Track?

After averaging 33 points through their first three games of the season, the Ravens offense has yet to score more than 20 points in the last three weeks. At times and for stretches, particularly early in games, they’ve been able to move the ball up and down the field seemingly at will. However, they have struggled to capitalize in the red zone and have had drives stall out due to a myriad of avoidable reasons after crossing midfield. Untimely turnovers have also been an issue but the unit is committed to fixing its mistakes.

The Ravens appear poised for a major show of force outing this week against a lesser opponent that struggles mightily to stop the strengths of their offensive scheme. According to Pro Football Reference, the Browns’ defense has given up the most rushing touchdowns in the league (11) and the 10th most rushing yards (789).

Bottling Up Nick Chubb Is Paramount

Last week Giants’ dynamic running back Saquon Barkley was “Public Enemy No. 1” for the Ravens’ defense and they did a great job limiting his impact nearly the entire game. They held the league’s leader in scrimmage yards through five weeks to just 95 yards from scrimmage on 25 total touches and likely would’ve kept him out of the end zone as well if their offense didn’t turn the ball over twice deep on their own side of the field twice late in the game.

This week the unit that has been trending upward in recent weeks after a rocky start to the season will face an even tougher test when the NFL’s leading rusher comes to town. Chubb’s 649 yards in six games ranks first in the league ahead of Barkley at 619, per Pro Football Reference. He also leads the league in rushing touchdowns with seven and is tied for fourth in yards per carry with 5.9.

If they can stifle the Browns’ top-ranked rushing attack and their offense pulls its weight to establish a big lead early, it would force Cleveland to rely more on backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett and less on their most dangerous weapon.

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