What the Ravens running back rotation looks like without J.K. Dobbins

Ravens, J.K. Dobbins (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ravens, J.K. Dobbins (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens hoped to see a healthy and rejuvenated J.K. Dobbins return in 2022 and pick up where he left off prior to his devastating knee injury. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what’s happened.

Dobbins sat out the first two weeks of the season before returning in Week 3 and posting modest numbers. The Ravens kept Dobbins on a pitch count to avoid any further damage to his knee which still wasn’t at 100 percent.

Evidently, their plan didn’t work. Dobbins reaggravated his knee in the team’s Week 6 loss to the New York Giants and missed the entire second half of the game. After missing practice this week, it was revealed that Dobbins’ injury was more serious than initially believed.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday that Dobbins was set to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and would be sidelined for up to 4-6 weeks. A trip to the injured reserve seems likely at this stage.

The Ravens will be forced to turn to other running backs on the roster in the meantime, but just what might their rotation look like?

The Ravens need other running backs to step up in J.K. Dobbins’ absence

The two players who should see the largest uptick in playing time with Dobbins out should be Kenyan Drake and Justice Hill, at least in the short term.

Drake stepped into the RB1 role last week following Dobbins’ injury and put forth the best performance from a Ravens running back this season. The veteran finished with 110 yards and a touchdown in 10 carries breathing life into a previously stagnant Ravens running game.

Hill is set to return in Week 7 and he should factor into the gameplan alongside Drake. There’s also veteran Mike Davis who has been used very sparingly. I wouldn’t expect his role to increase as much.

The wild card here is Gus Edwards who is set to return from the PUP list in the near future. Head coach John Harbaugh was noncommital about Edwards’ status for Week 7, but the Ravens have until Saturday at 4 pm ET to activate him.

If he’s activated, Edwards figures to rotate alongside Drake and Hill. If not, the Ravens might be eyeing a return on Thursday Night Football next week.

In the short term, expect the Ravens to lean on Drake and Hill — arguably the team’s two most efficient running backs this season — until Edwards is healthy.

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Losing J.K. Dobbins is far from ideal, but the Ravens have the running back depth to survive his absence. Don’t rule out an external move at the trade deadline either.