The Baltimore Ravens signed Melvin Gordon, immediately sending off flairs about J.K. Dobbins. Considering Dobbins is on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and Gordon was signed in accordance, it is easy to see the two linked together. The Ravens did not just sign a training camp body, so you may think they are prepping for a longer-than-expected absence from Dobbins.
Keaton Mitchell is impacted by the Baltimore Ravens signing Melvin Gordon
However, it is also fair to think that while this certainly will impact Dobbins, it says more about Keaton Mitchell. Mitchell is a rookie UDFA, and before training camp, he had his eyes on the fourth running back spot. Dobbins and Gus Edwards would lead the way, followed by Justice Hill, and then it was wide open for Keaton Mitchell.
With Dobbins out, it was fair the team needed somebody, but they also clearly did not trust Keaton Mitchell to step up. At least not yet. Considering he is a UDFA, that makes plenty of sense, but the question is, what happens when Dobbins returns?
All indications are that Dobbins will return well before the season and should be played in the preseason. Of course, everything is subject to change with Dobbins and his health. Still, if he returns, what happens to Gordon?
They could release him, and that could have been enough time overall for Keaton Mitchell to catch up to him. At the same time, the team could feel a lot safer with him as the fourth running back. Some areas of his game, such as goal line and pass protection, are specific to him and could be utilized. Keaton Mitchell could get mixed in as a jet sweep player, so it may come down to who proves more over the next few months.
The reality is that one of Gordon or Mitchell will likely be able to circle back to the practice squad, and if Dobbins has a serious injury the point is moot anyway. Still, the Gordon signing says that the Ravens do not trust the health of Dobbins just as much as it says that they do trust Mitchell to be active on gamedays as of now.