It was exactly 17 days ago that Ravens starting running back J.K. Dobbins responded to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter, clarifying that no matter his designation on the PUP List (Physically Unable to Perform), he will without a doubt be suited up Week 1 against the New York Jets. On Thursday, Head Coach John Harbaugh confirmed the third-year running backs claims.
Okay I’m tired of being quiet… come to me for your source @RapSheet because I might not even go on PUP because that’s how good my rehab is going and I’m damn sure going to be ready for week 1. https://t.co/gH2TqCFLM4— Jk dobbins (@Jkdobbins22) July 18, 2022
“[J.K.] is making it a hurry, he wants to get back out there,” Harbaugh said. “So we will look at it again Monday and see where we are at. Maybe he will do something like individuals, maybe not, it will be up to the docs.”
The news is especially welcoming for the Ravens brass as they saw both Dobbins and backfield mate Gus Edwards suffer season ending ACL injuries last preseason. Dobbins would be the first of his teammates to come off the PUP list, and as history shows the shifty third-year back is determined to post his best year to date.
As Baltimore Ravens reporter Ryan Mink noted, Dobbins broke his ankle on the very first carry of his senior year season at La Grange (Texas) high school. The injury did little to deter him as he compiled a historic true freshman season at Ohio State, finishing with 1,538 all purpose yards and eight touchdowns. In Dobbins third year at Ohio State he rushed for a monstrous 2,003 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.
Whether Dobbins can top the 2,000-yard mark this season is yet to be seen. Prior to the running backs’ ACL tear against the then Washington Football Team in Week 3 of the preseason, he was being listed among the top players poised for a breakout in 2021-2022. This was for good reason, as Dobbins concluded his rookie season on a six-game touchdown streak and amassed an absurd 6.0 yards per carry on a mere 134 carries. Dobbins shiftiness, one-cut ability and toughness in a Ravens offense where running is aplenty, is a dangerous combination for opposing defenses. While a return to the practice field Monday is not certain, the update on Dobbins is overwhelmingly positive. If history is any indication, media, fans and players alike would be foolish to doubt that Dobbins will come back like he never left.