No bigger news popped up on Day 15 of the Baltimore Ravens training camp than the return of J.K. Dobbins to the fields at the Under Armour Performance Center facilities, putting an effective end to his summer-long hold-in.
And the guys, from Ravens players to coaches, absolutely loved it.
This return is of course great news for Baltimore. Dobbins has always been and will still be the Ravens RB1 next season, and that was never put to question whether or not the rusher made his return now or later this month, and even into the regular season had that been the case.
Dobbins had not practiced once throughout training camp until he hit the ground running on Monday, so he still has a long road ahead to gear up and get ready for when real football arrives in September.
The running back's "hold-in," as assumed by many, saw him sit practices out while still attending them, roaming the field, talking to the Ravens coaches, owner, and GM, and being a participant only in that he was present out there with the Flock contingent but nothing else.
Although the Ravens listed Dobbins in their PUP list with a "hamstring injury," that's probably more of an excuse rather than an actual health problem considering the background of the situation.
Now that Dobbins is back and ready to go, though, one simple question has emerged: how does this addition to the Ravens' 53-man roster affect the building of the squad?
Whether he planned to keep holding in/out or not, Dobbins was always going to make the August 53-man cut. That said, it's still interesting to wonder about how the Ravens coaches will deal with the team's backfield for the 2023 season.
Right now, there are three locks to make the regular-season roster: Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill. There are two more in the bubble, assuming the team goes with only one more rusher: UDFA Keaton Mitchell and veteran FA signing Melvin Gordon III.
Will the Ravens boasts five rushers on their roster adding both Mitchell and MG3 to the final version of it?
Dobbins is entering the final year of his rookie deal with Baltimore pending an extension that the Ravens might or might not offer to him. It's unknown if Dobbins came back to training after reaching a verbal agreement with the franchise for a future deal, or if his return doesn't have anything to do with it.
Gordon is already 30 years old and only has a little over a million dollars guaranteed on his FA contract signed a few weeks ago ahead of training camp. Mitchell is a young stud still to turn 22 years old and has shown some flashes through camp and the first preseason game worth giving him a shot.
Although pundits out there have different opinions about who will end up making the final roster, the consensus opinion is that only one of Mitchell and Gordon will join the running back room for the 2023 season, let alone now that Dobbins is back.