The Baltimore Ravens were able to make easy work of the Houston Texans in Week 1, even without star tight end Mark Andrews. However, the biggest story of the game was the injury to running back J.K. Dobbins, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles.
After the game, John Harbaugh, Patrick Queen, Lamar Jackson, and many others spoke about the gut-wrenching loss of Dobbins, but Queen’s reaction was full of emotions and difficult to stomach.
“It hurts to see that type of stuff happen to somebody so good…I just asked everybody, just pray for him, pray for his mental [health]…It’s just tough. It hurts.”
Dobbins missed the entire 2021 season after suffering a knee injury in the final game of the preseason, and he had trouble getting back into rhythm in 2022. He played just eight games and ran for 520 yards with two scores last season.
J.K. Dobbins’ Injury is a ‘Gut Punch’
The reactions came pouring in, and it’s a tough blow for a team with high hopes in the AFC. Offensive lineman Kevin Zietler, who began his third season with the Ravens, had the same sentiments about Dobbins’ injury, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.
“You can’t replace a J.K. [He’s a] special guy, both football-wise and personality-wise. He helps keep his team moving and all that. So, an absolute gut punch and heartbreaking.”
Lamar Jackson also spoke about losing Dobbins, and it’s never easy to deal with season-ending injuries, especially to a Pro B0wl-type talent in Week 1:
“That’s very unfortunate. I feel like J.K. been busting his behind to get back on that field and just show … what he’s capable of and to help us out along the way. I spoke highly of him this offseason, just letting everybody know we really need him. For him to go down with an injury, that’s just very unfortunate, not just him — for all of us.”
Who Steps Up to Replace Dobbins?
The big question is where do the Ravens go from here? Dobbins had just eight carries for 22 yards and a score before suffering the injury. Gus Edwards had eight carries for 32 yards, and Justice Hill added eight carries for nine yards, but two touchdowns.
And, the Ravens are planning to bring him Melvin Gordon, who was on the practice squad.
So, maybe their replacements are already in town, and the trio of Hill-Edwards-Godron could be good enough for Baltimore to get by. Also, Jackson had six carries and led the Ravens with 38 yards rushing, so there is that added factor to consider as well.
Harbaugh also insisted the team would support him all the way through: “Just kind of crestfallen for him. We will put our arms around him, and he’ll get into rehab, and he will be back [next season]. But yeah, it’s really hard for him.”
Nonetheless, it’s a crushing blow to the Ravens’ offense, and a tough situation for Dobbins after he “held in” in hopes of getting an extension with 2023 being the final season of his rookie contract.