As if it wasn’t bad enough that Baltimore Ravens starting running back J.K. Dobbins was already ruled out for the team’s Week 7 AFC North divisional matchup, the third-year pro is reportedly going to miss even more time after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Dobbins sat out the entire second half of the Ravens’ Week 6 loss to the New York Giants after his surgically repaired knee “tightened up” and missed the entire week of practice for the same reason.
He sat out the first two games of the season as the team looked to cautiously bring him along and ramp up his involvement in the offense coming off a torn ACL that caused him to miss the entire 2021 season. According to Pro Football Reference, in four games, Dobbins made four starts and recorded 123 rushing yards and a touchdown on 35 carries, and added another 39 yards and a score on six receptions.
Luckily this latest injury-related setback for the former second-round pick out of Ohio State in the 2020 NFL Draft isn’t season-ending but he still might go on injured reserve. If he were to be out for the entire duration of the estimated timeline for return, Dobbins would be able to return in time for the team’s Week 13 home game versus the Denver Broncos.
Potential Ripple Effects On Offense
As unfortunate as the report about Dobbins’ availability for the foreseeable future is, the Ravens’ cupboard at the running back position is far from bare. They still have seven-year veteran Kenyan Drake who is coming off his best and most productive game since joining the team. He spearheaded the offense’s most efficient rushing performance of the season by leading the team with 119 yards on 10 carries and scoring his first touchdown of the year.
Fourth-year pro-Justice Hill was the Ravens most impressive running back through the first four weeks of the season before missing the past two games with a hamstring injury. He was a full participant in practice this week and wasn’t even given a status designation on the final injury report. In four games, Hill recorded 125 rushing yards on 19 carries for an average of 6.6 yards per carry.
There is also the looming return of fifth-year pro Gus Edwards who has been practicing for the past few weeks and could be making his 2022 debut soon. He suffered a season-ending torn ACL a week after Dobbins and missed the entire 2021 season as well. Prior to his injury, Edwards had rushed for over 700 yards and averaged five or more yards a carry in his first three seasons in the league. The Ravens also still have eighth-year veteran Mike Davis who has been sparingly used as a ball carrier this season and mostly comes on the field as an additional blocker.
No. 1 Wide Reciever and Other Starters Likely to Play
While the Dobbins’ development is untimely and unfortunate, the Ravens are slated to get back several key starters this week for their big divisional matchup including top wideout Rashod Bateman, starting right tackle Morgan Moses, and potentially outside linebacker Justin Houston.
Bateman has missed the last two games with a sprained foot he suffered in a loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. The passing game and particularly the vertical component of it struggled with consistency during his absence. He was a limited participant all week and is listed as questionable to play but he is optimistic and excited about his potential return.
“It’s feeling good. I’m getting better day by day, so I guess we’ll look and see,” Bateman said in a press conference on October 21, 2022. “That’s a Coach (Harbaugh) decision. So, I honestly can’t wait to see what he says either.”
“Obviously, everybody knows I got hurt last year, so dealing with injuries right now, it sucks, but it is what it is. I’m just hoping to get back out there with the guys.”
Moses went down with a heel injury in the first half of the Giants game this past Sunday and looked like he was going to be the latest victim of the infamous MetLife Field turf monster when he got carted into the locker room. However, he emerged still in uniform for the second half and head coach John Harbaugh said after the game that the ninth-year veteran could’ve re-entered the game if they needed him.
After not practicing on Wednesday, he was a limited participant on Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable to play. In the event that he can’t suit up on Sunday, the Ravens have plenty of faith in versatile utility lineman Patrick Mekari and rookie Daniel Faalele.
Houston has been out with an injured groin for the past three games and is still tied for the second-most sacks on the team with two. He was limited for the first two days of practice this week before sitting out on Friday so his return isn’t a guarantee but the fact that he practiced for the first time since the week leading up to the team’s Week 3 win over the New England Patriots is promising.
The Ravens still have veteran Jason Pierre-Paul who has been a stalwart and disruptive presence since joining the team that has been more than admirably filling his shoes. They also signed veteran Devon Kennard to the practice squad this week and have their sack leader from last season, Tyus Bowser, coming off his second week of practice.