Will Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins return from injury in Week 3?

Ravens, J.K. Dobbins (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, J.K. Dobbins (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have been looking forward to the return of running back J.K. Dobbins, and that return could come as soon as this Sunday against the New England Patriots.

However, as is typical for the Ravens, they remain tight-lipped about the recovery timetable for their injured running back. Head coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media following Friday’s practice and was noncommittal about Dobbins’ chances of playing this week.

Harbaugh simply stated that Dobbins will return “soon” while emphasizing that he has “certain parameters” he needs to reach. It remains unclear if Dobbins will play on Sunday, but Harbaugh’s words aren’t exactly encouraging.

The former second-round pick hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since the 2020 season after tearing his ACL in the preseason a year ago. The injury required surgery and extensive rehab which is why he hasn’t been able to suit up for a game just yet.

But after two straight weeks of being a full participant in practice, Ravens fans are desperate to see their young running back return to the field. That’s especially true given the struggles the Ravens have encountered in their ground game.

The Ravens could really use a healthy J.K. Dobbins

In Dobbins’ absence, the Ravens have relied on the trio of Kenyan Drake, Mike Davis, and Justice Hill with Drake serving as the lead back. The three have combined for just 74 yards on 29 carries, or a meager 2.55 yards per carry.

Drake alone has rushed the ball 17 times for just 39 yards (2.3 YPC) while Davis has carried the ball seven times for 15 yards (2.1 YPC). The Ravens haven’t had much of a running game outside of Lamar Jackson to this point.

There’s no telling what a healthy Dobbins would mean for this offense. Of course, getting Dobbins healthy remains a top priority. The Ravens aren’t looking to rush their young star back from injury, especially after what happened with Ronnie Stanley a year ago.

Dobbins has a chance to play this Sunday, but it’s notable that the Ravens wouldn’t commit to that. Harbaugh’s words aren’t exactly encouraging for those hoping to see Dobbins back on the field in Week 3.

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Right now, it still feels like Week 4 is more of a reasonable return timetable. Whenever he does return, expect J.K. Dobbins to once again play an important role in the Ravens’ offense.