Dobbins was carted off the field after injuring the knee during the opening drive of the Ravens’ 37-3 rout of Washington at FedEx Field. A second-round pick from a year ago, Dobbins was entering his first season as Baltimore’s featured running back.
If Dobbins is out for the season, the Ravens’ top two backs are Gus Edwards and Ty’Son Williams. Edwards is one of the more underrated backups in the league, averaging 5.2 yards per carry over the past three seasons (third best among running backs). Williams, who went undrafted out of BYU last year, has impressed the Ravens this summer with his physical running style, rushing for 131 yards on 24 carries this preseason (5.5-yard average).
The Ravens have confidence in Edwards, who signed a two-year, $10 million extension this offseason and has shown he can be a starting running back when called upon. In 2018, Edwards took over as the Ravens’ No. 1 running back midway through the season and helped lead Baltimore to the playoffs. He averaged 93.4 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns in the final six games that season.
The Ravens have had the NFL’s top-ranked running attack over the past two seasons because of the system that it has installed around quarterback Lamar Jackson, who gained a team-leading 2,211 yards rushing combined in 2019 and 2020. Over that span, three running backs have gained over 800 yards: Edwards, Dobbins and Mark Ingram.
This offseason, the Ravens explored the possibility of adding a veteran running back for depth. Free agent Todd Gurley II visited the Ravens in June, but he left without a contract. It’s unknown whether Gurley’s knee issues would allow him to hold up for a full season.
Gurley was among those to wish Dobbins well after his injury on social media.
Wait What Nah Not Dobbins SMH Praying Everything Is Ok and A Speedy Recovery🙏🏾
— Todd Gurley II (@TG3II) August 28, 2021
Dobbins, 22, was primed for a breakout 2021 season. Last year, he averaged 6.0 yards per carry, the second-highest average by a rookie running back over the past 20 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Only the New Orleans Saints‘ Alvin Kamara (6.1) had a higher average as a rookie.
Dobbins’ injury was the latest setback in a rough summer for Baltimore. Because of injuries, Baltimore’s top three wide receivers have missed a chunk of training camp and its projected starting offensive line didn’t practice together for the first time until last week. Wide receiver Rashod Bateman, a first-round pick, had groin surgery on Aug. 13 and could miss the start of the regular season.
“That one hurts, bro, because you know how much work he put in [and] the type of guy he is,” Ravens wide receiver James Proche said of Dobbins after Saturday’s game. “He loves the game. Anytime the game is taken away from you like that, you really feel for him.”