A record 20th consecutive preseason win came at a huge price for the Baltimore Ravens as they lost running back J.K. Dobbins for the rest of the 2021 NFL campaign due to a left knee injury. Dobbins suffered the injury during the opening drive of the Ravens’ 37-3 thrashing of Washington on Saturday as he got caught between three players on a screen pass.
Uh oh! JK Dobbins down and at first sight it appears to be serious 😳 pic.twitter.com/9Xe3xy4GSX
— JTMoney27 (@jt_money27) August 28, 2021
He immediately grabbed his left knee after Washington cornerback Jimmy Moreland delivered a huge hit on it with his shoulder.
Dobbins out for the season with torn ACL
Everyone knew something was very wrong with Dobbins‘ knee as he needed help to get to the sideline because the 22-year-old couldn’t put any weight on his left leg. Additional tests on Sunday confirmed the Ravens’ worst fears as ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reported that Dobbins indeed tore his ACL in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season as a result.
An MRI today confirmed that Ravens’ RB J.K. Dobbins, one of the top young running backs in the game, suffered a season-ending torn ACL, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2021
It is a huge blow to Dobbins and the rest of the Ravens organization, given his importance to Baltimore’s vaunted running game. He played a huge part in making the Ravens the best rushing offense in the NFL last season (191.9 yards per game), recording 805 yards and nine touchdowns over 134 carries in the 2020 campaign.
Dobbins was instrumental in Baltimore’s late push to reach the postseason last year, recording 425 yards on the ground (eighth-most in the NFL) and scoring six touchdowns in the Ravens’ final five regular-season outings.
He averaged 6.0 yards per carry for the Ravens last season, the second-highest rushing average by a rookie running back over the previous 20 years. Only New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara had a higher average as a rookie, posting a 6.1 yard per carry clip during his first year with the Saints.
Gurley to Baltimore rumors gaining steam after Dobbins injury
Dobbins was expected to be given a bigger role this year by head coach John Harbaugh, given his exploits last season. He was tipped to share lead back duties with Gus Edwards in Baltimore’s run-heavy offense, but sadly that won’t be the case now with his sudden injury.
With Dobbins sidelined, expect Harbaugh to hand more touches to backups Ty’Son Williams and Justice Hill or design even more running plays for quarterback Lamar Jackson. Another intriguing option right now is Todd Gurley, with the three-time Pro Bowler still available in free agency.
Gurley, who racked up over 800 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns during his stint with the Atlanta Falcons last season, paid a visit to Baltimore back in June, so Harbaugh is already familiar with the former Rams star.
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