The Baltimore Ravens got a huge boost to their offense this week in the form of star running back J.K. Dobbins, who made his much-awaited return to practice after tearing his ACL during the 2021 preseason.
The Ravens officially activated Dobbins from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) on August 8, with the former Ohio State standout passing his physical and joining the team at training camp.
Dobbins only participated in individual drills as the Ravens ramp up his activity with more than a month left before their regular season opener vs. the New York Jets.
Dobbins’ activation from the PUP list with more than a month before the Ravens’ first regular season game is an indication that the 2020 second-rounder will follow through on his promise “to be ready for Week 1.”
But after last year’s injury fiasco, Baltimore is taking a cautious approach to their returning stars, with Ronnie Stanley, Marcus Peters and Gus Edwards among the players closest to their return.
Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic even tweeted that the Ravens are “hopeful he’ll return to practice in 2 weeks or so,” indicating that Stanley could be ready to play by Week 1.
Harbaugh Clarifies Linderbaum Injury
Dobbins’ promise was a response to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who reported that the third-year running back was “no sure thing to make Week 1.”
Now it seems that Rapoport could be wrong twice in a row about recent injuries in Baltimore, as head coach John Harbaugh directly contradicted a report from Rapoport regarding rookie center Tyler Linderbaum, who went down during practice on August 4.
“It sounds to me like a reoccurrence of his old Lisfranc injury. It is a sprain, not a full rupture,” said Rapoport on NFL Network.
But when asked about the report after practice, Harbaugh was adamant that Linderbaum’s injury was not a Lisfranc sprain:
That’s not true. That’s not true. It’s not a Lisfranc sprain. There’s a ligament; it’s not that ligament. It’s a different ligament…That’s my understanding. I’m not a doctor, but I play one in press conferences, as you know. But that’s what I was told.
Harbaugh’s answer will have Ravens fans breathing a sigh of relief that the main return from the Hollywood Brown trade is not expected to miss significant time.
Harbaugh: Dobbins ‘Looked Pretty Good’
Harbaugh also offered his evaluation of Dobbins’ return to practice, telling media, “I thought he looked pretty good in individual, first day back.”
After working hard this summer to rehab his torn ACL, Dobbins had been pushing to join his teammates at practice from the time training camp started. However, Harbaugh indicated that the Ravens will still manage his workload and intensity in practice for the time being.
“Maybe we add a little bit more everyday and kind of see how he handles it, and see how the knee responds,” said Harbaugh. “But, it seems like it’s so far so good.”
The Ravens drafted rookie Tyler Badie and signed veterans Corey Clement and Mike Davis this offseason to bolster their backfield, giving them plenty of insurance as Dobbins and Edwards make their full recovery.
2019 fourth-rounder Justice Hill is showing off his pass-catching abilities in training camp after recovering from a torn Achilles, so the Ravens have no shortage of options at running back.