Ravens Starting Running Back Shares Details of Extensive Knee Injury

Ravens J.K. Dobbins

Getty Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins is carted off the field after a season-ending injury in 2021.

Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins knows what it is like to bounce back from suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He went through it in high school and still went on to have an outstanding collegiate career at Ohio State and ultimately got taken in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

However, tearing his ACL was just the tip of the iceberg of the injury that ended what many projected and believed would be a breakout second year for him in 2021 before it even began. The full extent and severity of his knee injury have been speculated, rumored, and reported on by reputable league sources and insiders since it occurred but especially in recent months as the season approached.

Dobbins even called out renowned NFL insider Ian Rapport of the NFL Network for reporting false information about his injury and estimated recovery time via social media.

In a recent appearance on a local CBS news station in Baltimore, he joined retired NFL wide receiver and former Raven, Torrey Smith, on stage and opened up about just how much ligament damage his knee sustained on that fateful day on FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland in a meaningless preseason finale.

“It wasn’t just a regular ACL,” Dobbins said. “It was pretty bad. It was ACL, LCL, hamstring, meniscus so it was tough.”


Excited To Finally Play In Front Of A Packed House 

Since he came into the league two years ago during the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Dobbins and his fellow 2020 draftees and undrafted first-year pros didn’t get to play in front of any or minimal fans in most cities. Last season would’ve been his first had he not gotten hurt but this upcoming week when the Ravens host the Miami Dolphins in their home opener, his dream of playing in an NFL stadium full of friends, family, home fans, and spectators could finally come true.

“It would mean the world to me if I can go out there this Sunday and play well in front of a full house,” Dobbins said. “I haven’t played in front of a full stadium in Baltimore and I hope I get to.”

The third-year pro has been champing at the bit and practically begging his coaches and training staff to let him off the proverbial leash since he resumed practicing after being activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list. The team is wisely taking an overcautious approach to bringing back all their player recovering from major injuries and season-ending surgeries after how ravaged their roster was in 2021 on both sides of the ball up and down the depth chart.


Realistic Rotation Upon His Return

Dobbins was a game-time decision in Week 1 but the team opted to hold him out of the season-opening win over the New York Jets on September 11, 2022. Even if he is cleared to play this week against the Dolphins, don’t expect him to just pick up where he left off at the end of his rookie year where averaged just over a dozen carries over his last nine games and was emerging as a co-bell cow with Gus Edwards.

In fact, a more realistic workload to ease him back into action would be in a similar rotation with the other backs that resembled the start of his first year where averaged just over four carries and maybe a catch or two through his first six career games.

Veteran Kenyan Drake started in his place against the Jets and played well considering his lack of a complete grasp of the playbook given he just recently joined the team. Also, the offensive line was going up against a very stout front without their best player in Ronnie Stanley who could also make his 2022 debut in Week 2.

Nevertheless, expect to see another heavy dose of Drake with some sporadic touches for Dobbins strategically spread throughout. Veteran journeyman Mike Davis and fourth-year pro Justice Hill will be getting a handful or two of carries between them as well.

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