The Baltimore Ravens have had problems at the running back position over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, the team has not been able to find a consistent piece in the backfield. The Ravens have tried drafting as well as signing free-agent running backs, all to no avail. In 2018, Baltimore signed undrafted running back Gus Edwards to the roster. In 2019, the Ravens drafted Justice Hill, and J.K. Dobbins in 2020. In 2021, Baltimore took three different flyers on veterans Le’veon Bell, Latavius Murray, and Devonta Freeman.
With that being said, there is clear intent to fill the position, met with very little success. In fact, quarterback Lamar Jackson has been the Ravens leading rusher in each of the last four seasons. Injuries have been the primary reason for the lack of consistency in the backfield. Baltimore’s best halfback cannot find a way to stay healthy, although injuries are rarely a player’s fault. Dobbins has spent the majority of his career on injured reserve. In fact, Dobbins spent three of the last four seasons rehabilitating injuries.
Can the Ravens Ever Trust J.K. Dobbins To Stay Healthy?
Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins is a talented player with terrible luck. It remains to be seen whether he can become a star player, as injuries have derailed every inkling of success. In 2020, Dobbins was healthy and effective, showing loads of potential. The following year began the downslope. After a promising rookie year, Dobbins missed the entire 2021 season with a severe leg injury. Dobbins suffered a torn ACL, LCL, meniscus, and hamstring. Surprisingly, it only took Dobbins one year to recover from his injuries. Dobbins returned in Week 3 of the 2022 season against the New England Patriots.
After four games, 123 yards, and one touchdown, Dobbins injured his right knee again. Luckily for Dobbins, the injury was not season-threatening. Dobbins returned in Week 13 after a cleanup procedure on the knee. Upon Dobbins’s return, he looked as spry as ever, helping the Ravens reach the playoffs where they fell to the Cincinnati Bengals. This past off-season, Dobbins was absent for an extended period of time. Dobbins refused to answer questions regarding his absenteeism, only divulging that he’s healthy. “I feel pretty dang good. I’m just gonna leave it at that because I feel so good,” said Dobbins while speaking to reporters.
Late Return, Early Departure
After Dobbins took some extra time off assumably to ensure his knee was structurally sound, he returned in Week 1 of the 2023 season against the Houston Texans. The running back was playing well, carrying the ball eight times for 22 yards and scoring Baltimore’s first touchdown. He also caught two passes for 15 yards. Unfortunately, injury ensued after his second reception. Dobbins was diagnosed with a torn Achilles shortly after the game, as confirmed by head coach Jim Harbaugh. 2023 is a contract year for Dobbins, so this type of injury is devastating, to say the least.
J.K. Dobbins Contract Situation
Needless to say, J.K. Dobbins will miss the remainder of the Ravens 2023 season while he attempts yet another comeback. Dobbins has missed 27 games in his first three seasons. Additionally, he will miss 16 more games this year but is a talented player worth taking a chance on. The Baltimore Ravens selected J.K. Dobbins in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and signed him to a four-year $5.7M deal. Dobbins has now reached the end of his contract and hopes to stay in Baltimore. “I love it here. I want to finish my career here,” said Dobbins in a training camp interview.
It is clear that Dobbins wants to remain a Raven, but unclear whether Baltimore is willing to sign a running back with his injury history. Dobbins is well-liked around the locker room and is talented enough to capitalize on a ‘prove it’ deal, better known as a one-year contract. The Ravens are in dire need of a running back and Dobbins is in need of a team willing to take the risk. So, a short-term contract could benefit both sides.
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