The Baltimore Ravens enter training camp with a bit of an injury bug. Wide receiver Rashod Bateman and running back J.K. Dobbins are both on the Physically Unable to Perform list and the latest update gives no clue as to when Dobbins will be back in the lineup.
John Harbaugh Gives Unhelpful Update on J.K. Dobbins
Speaking to reporters, Baltimore Ravens head coach gave an incredibly unhelpful update on Dobbins. When asked when the star running back will be back on the field, Harbaugh simply said “that’s a J.K. question. I wish it was a simple answer. There’s some complexity to it and we’re working through all of that. J.K’s working through it. I’m looking forward to when he’s out there.”
Asked about J.K. Dobbins not practicing, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said “I wish there was a simple answer.”
Harbaugh said there is no timeline for Dobbins return. Dobbins is currently on PUP. pic.twitter.com/okSx3gzxAb
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) July 26, 2023
As you can see, Harbaugh doesn’t exactly sound thrilled with the status of his starting running back. For what it’s worth, this isn’t the first time that Dobbins’ health updates have come as a surprise to the team. He didn’t practice during mandatory minicamp thanks to a knee issue, a setback the team did not expect. Evidently, that knee injury is still bothering him and could keep him sidelined for quite some time.
Of course, there is a chance that Dobbins is essentially “holding in” for a new contract. The running back has publicly expressed the desire for a new deal, and Baltimore doesn’t seem eager to hand out a contract. Given the current state of the running back market and Dobbins’ injury woes over the years, you can see why the Ravens don’t want to pay up.
It is possible that Dobbins is using his knee as an excuse to not risk any additional injury while he waits for a new deal. Whatever the reason is, this update suggests that the Ravens need to prepare for life without Dobbins.
With Dobbins sidelined, the Baltimore Ravens will likely turn to Gus Edwards to headline their backfield. While he lacks Dobbins’ impressive big-play ability, Edwards has proven himself to be an adequate starter in the past. Throughout the course of his career, the running back has averaged 5.2 yards per attempt on 501 carries. Like Dobbins, injuries have been an issue for Edwards, but he definitely get the job done when on the field.
The rest of the depth chart, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Baltimore recently signed Melvin Gordon, but the former first-round pick was arguably the worst running back in the league last year. That’s not hyperbole either – his 49.1 PFF grade ranked dead last among all eligible running backs. Justice Hill, meanwhile, is best utilized on special teams and as a change of pace back.
If the J.K. Dobbins situation lasts into the regular season, then the Ravens will need to update their depth chart. While it’s highly unlikely they go after someone like Dalvin Cook, they could easily sign a proven veteran like Kareem Hunt or Ezekiel Elliott. Both players are shells of their former selves, but they can still provide some value as part of a committee.
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