Ravens: Gus Edwards primed for monster season following J.K. Dobbins injury

Ravens, Gus Edwards (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images)
Ravens, Gus Edwards (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens will have to rely on Gus Edwards more than ever in 2021 following the season-ending torn ACL suffered by running back J.K. Dobbins in Saturday’s preseason finale.

Edwards has been one of the NFL’s most efficient running backs since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2018.

He’s the only running back in the NFL to have averaged 5.0 or more yards per carry in each of the last three seasons. He finished last year as Pro Football Focus‘ fifth-highest graded running with back with a stellar 85.5 grade.

Edwards has been vastly underrated for a while now. And in 2021, he might finally receive the opportunity to prove that he’s more than just an efficient complementary back.

The Ravens could see the best of Gus Edwards in 2021 with J.K. Dobbins out

Edwards has never gotten the opportunity to shine in a featured role. Despite being an important part of Baltimore’s offense for the last few years, the Ravens have never counted on him as their top back for an extended period of time.

Still, Edwards spoke to reporters on Tuesday and insisted that he’s “never seen [himself] as a backup.” And he wouldn’t be wrong.

Edwards has carried the ball at least 130 times in each of the last three seasons averaging roughly 8-9 carries a game. But those figures will likely rise with Dobbins out of the picture.

Behind Edwards, the likes of Ty’Son Williams and Justice Hill could receive some touches. But Williams is a second-year undrafted free agent who has never appeared in an NFL game while Hill hasn’t taken the step the Ravens hoped he would.

There is no sure thing behind Edwards. And even if the Ravens add another player to the backfield in the next day or two, it’s safe to say that Edwards will still be the top guy.

This is Edwards’ time to shine. He’s taken a back seat role for most of his career, but no longer will the Rutgers product stand in the shadows.

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Although the circumstances are less than ideal, Edwards is embracing the opportunity to lead the Ravens’ backfield.

Gus Edwards is RB1 until further notice.