Lamar Jackson looked like a star in the making last season. In just his second year as a pro, the former Heisman trophy winner threw for 3,790 yards and 27 touchdowns, both rookie records, while leading the Ravens to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. This year, Jackson has been overshadowed by second-year wideout J.K. Dobbins, who has emerged as the clear-cut go-to receiver.
The Ravens received a huge blow Sunday when they learned that J.K. Dobbins is likely to be out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL. Jackson’s backfield will now be without its most potent weapon, and the Ravens’ offense will be forced to rely on a group of less-talented players to make up for their absence.
On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens shared a video of J.K. Dobbins’ devastating injury. In the video, the Ravens rookie running back appears to be working on a passing route when he goes down to the turf. After a few seconds, he gets up and shakes his head, then collapses to the ground again. It’s a terrifying scene.
This season, J.K. Dobbins was expected to play a significant part in the Baltimore Ravens’ offense.
The Ravens have a rushing offense led by him and former MVP Lamar Jackson that many predicted would finish first in the NFL in 2021. However, after Dobbins’ season-ending injury, the Ravens’ offense will have their job cut out for them in terms of finding a means to replace the hole.
During the preseason, J.K. Dobbins sustained a season-ending knee injury.
According to reports, J.K. Dobbins is having an MRI right now, but the assumption going in was that he had sustained a season-ending knee injury.
August 29, 2021 — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)
Dobbins was a Ravens second-round selection last year, and he wasted no time declaring his presence to the rest of the league during his rookie season.
In 2020, the former Ohio State Buckeye has 925 total scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged 6.1 yards per touch, which is a good number for a rookie running back.
The Ravens’ ground game is known for their “running back by committee” style. In 2020, four different running backs saw action, with Jackson leading the squad in total carries with 159. Between Jackson, Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Mark Ingram, the Ravens had a frightening group of runners to hurl at opposing defenses.
Despite the fact that Dobbins lagged Edwards in total carries last season, the prevailing consensus going into the summer was that Dobbins would be the team’s RB1. He showed enough promise during his rookie season to warrant such a promotion, despite the fact that he is three years younger than Edwards.
The Ravens are in a difficult situation now that Dobbins is expected to miss the whole 2021 season. They have a decent amount of depth at running back. Jackson is the league’s greatest runner, but losing one’s RB1 is never something a club can adequately prepare for. A defeat like this may signal problems for the Ravens in the future.
How can Lamar Jackson and the Ravens make up for J.K. Dobbins’ departure?
Edwards, first and foremost, will have to step up. Nate McCrary, Ty’Son Williams, and the aforementioned Hill are among the Ravens’ running backs, but Edwards is the key man to watch.
During his three seasons with the Ravens, Edwards has rushed for at least 700 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He’s no Dobbins in terms of explosiveness or athleticism, but he’s a viable option for a club with a strong offensive line.
Second, Jackson will have to put together a spectacular offensive season.
Following his MVP season in 2019, Jackson took a step back in 2020, but he’s still been one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the NFL since his debut.
The Ravens quarterback has a 30-7 record as a starter and 87 career touchdowns (passing and rushing). Jackson would have a great year with or without Dobbins, but the latest injury news has made his task much more difficult. The Ravens’ offense would be saved if Jackson stepped up and “recreated” his MVP season.
In theory, the Ravens should be OK.
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images | J.K. Dobbins
Losing one’s starting running back in the preseason is a catastrophe, but the Ravens should be able to deal with it in principle. They have a deep running back room, as previously said, and Jackson is a problem for opposition defenders on his own.
That isn’t to say that living in Baltimore hasn’t become much more difficult. The Ravens will be in big danger if Edwards and Jackson can’t step up in Dobbins’ absence.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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