Will This Ravens Running Back Have A Comeback In 2022?

August 24, 2022

JK Dobbins return off the PUP list for the Ravens was a good sign in his recovery from a season-ending injury last season. Can JK Dobbins help bring back this prolific offense attack from years past? 

JK Dobbins is one of my favorite players on the Baltimore Ravens. Since being drafted in the 2020 NFL draft, there have been high expectations for the former Ohio State Buckeye. To be honest, it should have been. The Ravens were coming off a historical season the year before with a 14-2 record with the Unanimous Most Valuable Player in Lamar Jackson and the best rushing attack in NFL history.

So to draft Dobbins in the second round of the 2020 draft had Ravens fans like myself excited. Dobbins was a part of a very prolific offense at Ohio State, compiling some productive numbers. In three seasons, Dobbins gained a total of 4,459 yards rushing on 6.2 yards per rush and 38 rushing touchdowns. He also showed he was solid in the passing game with 71 catches for 645 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

You would think with statistics like that, Dobbins should fit in well with this Ravens offense. There was a little skepticism that I can remember correctly. As I stated, the Ravens were coming off a season where they set almost all of the team rushing records in the NFL.

Led by MVP Lamar Jackson and longtime vet Mark Ingram, some questioned the Dobbins’ selection at that stage in the draft. The never-ending search for a pass catcher or pass rusher may have seemed like the better move. This is year three for Dobbins and the time is now to prove he was the right selection. Dobbins has a good chance to be considered for the Comeback Player of the Year if he can prove he is healthy and has a good season.

With Ravens RB Off The PUP, Signs Point To Comeback For The RB

JK Dobbins passed his physical and officially came off the PUP list on August 8, 2022. To me, this is a good sign of his recovery. I’m amazed at how quickly these athletes come back from injuries these days. I’m old enough to remember when injuries like torn ACLs were career-ending let alone season-ending injuries.

For Dobbins to be out there doing individual drills is promising. Last season’s running back room was riddled with injuries. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill were among the other running backs to get injured. With using a plug-and-play method for the season, offensive coordinator Greg Roman had to use the likes of Devonta Freeman and Leveon Bell to have a solid running attack.

Honestly, I think we can all agree the two mentioned are past their prime and are nowhere close to the running back dobbins is. His explosive and big play style were missing from this offense. His 2020 rookie season showed the potential what Dobbins can do in this Ravens offense.

While backing up then-starter, Mark Ingram, Dobbins had a solid stat total in 15 games played. He compiled 805 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns on the ground. Dobbins also averaged six yards per rush and that is some good numbers for a rookie running back.

Reports out of Ravens training camp are that Dobbins looks healthy and ready. As Ravens fans, we all need to temper expectations or at least early in the season.

Dobbins may be back earlier than expected but the Ravens should still ease him into the rotation. Injuries like ACLs tend to have soreness post-surgery and after workouts. The endgame is having Dobbins healthy this season and ready for the stretch run to the Playoffs and hopefully a Super Bowl. I expect the Ravens coaching staff will get him ramped up these next few weeks. After a few games into the season, I expect him to be fully back and that may be bad news for the rest of the league.