Ravens RBs J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards face uncertain return timetable

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

The Baltimore Ravens are hoping to see the healthy returns of a number of injured players in 2022, two of which happen to play the same position.

Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards were forced to miss the entirety of the 2021 season after each suffered a torn ACL prior to Week 1. As of now, the exact timetable for each player’s return remains uncertain.

Dobbins tore his ACL in the team’s preseason finale against the Washington Commanders. The specifics of his injury haven’t been revealed in their entirety, but there’s been speculation that the young running back also damaged his LCL which could have complicated his rehab process.

As for Edwards, the former undrafted running back looked primed to be the team’s lead back following Dobbins’ injury, only for him to also tear his ACL a few weeks later during a mundane mid-week practice.

It’s unclear when either player will be able to return to the field in 2022, but expectations should undoubtedly be tempered for them this season.

The Ravens can’t bank on J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards returning to form in 2022

Knee injuries are always a tricky thing in the NFL, especially when it comes to running backs. While football players (and athletes as a whole) seem to be recovering from major injuries at a more rapid rate than ever before, it’s important to acknowledge that every injury is different.

Cam Akers may be able to return from a torn Achilles in under six months, but others like Ronnie Stanely miss nearly two full years due to an ankle injury.

Even when Dobbins and Edwards do return, the Ravens shouldn’t (and likely won’t be) expecting them to pick up exactly where they left off prior to their injuries. It takes time to regain confidence in their bodies and become the players they used to be.

Fortunately, both Dobbins and Edwards have been in this situation before.

Dobbins was forced to miss all but one game in his senior year of high school due to a nasty ankle injury that required surgery. Edwards was sidelined for his entire junior year at Miami as a result of a foot injury.

Each player has dealt with an extended rehab process in the past. That should help the acclimation process as they look to return to full strength as soon as possible.

The most likely outcome will see both Dobbins and Edwards begin the summer on the PUP list. It’s unlikely that either will play much (or at all) in the preseason either. The Ravens are still eyeing a Week 1 return, however — at least, that’s the latest update the team has provided.

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The Ravens would love to see J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards return and thrive in 2022, but it’s important to remain cautiously optimistic about the situation. That’s a lesson the team learned the hard way last year.