J.K. Dobbins has been itching to return to practice, and his wish was granted Monday.
The Ravens' starting running back passed his physical, has been removed from the PUP list, and will join his teammates at practice for the first time since suffering his season-ending knee injury on Aug. 28 of last year. Dobbins will still be eased into action, likely starting with just individual drills.
Dobbins has worked diligently to recover from a torn ACL, and refuted a report from Ian Rapport of NFL Network last month that he is "no sure thing" for Week 1.
Dobbins' competitive nature is part of what makes him special, and his effervescent personality will add even more energy to training camp. It has been Dobbins' intention all along to be ready for the starting of the regular season, and he advised those betting against him to "go check my resume."
During one practice last week, Dobbins was stalking the sidelines telling everyone within earshot that he was ready to return, imploring them to let him practice. The Ravens will be cautious with their lead running back, but the fact he is healthy enough to practice is a positive step in his recovery.
"Yeah, J.K. definitely wants to go," Head Coach John Harbaugh said last week. "He's made it very clear, and he's not just clear in the fact that he tells everybody all the time. But that's up to the doctors and him, and they'll work it out. As soon as he's back out there, we'll be coaching him really hard."
Dobbins is a vital cog in Baltimore's offense, an explosive runner who's effective both running between the tackles and bouncing outside. He was looking to have a breakout season in 2021 after averaging 6.0 yards per carry as a rookie, with 805 yards and nine touchdowns. Dobbins is also a capable receiver who caught 18 passes for 120 yards as a rookie, and he worked hard to improve that aspect of his game.
After Dobbins took over as the lead running back late in his rookie season, he and Gus Edwards were expected to be a formidable one-two punch in 2021. However, those plans were ruined when Dobbins and Edwards both suffered season-ending torn ACL's. Dobbins went down on a carry in the final preseason game in Washington.
Edwards is still on the PUP list and his status for Week 1 remains questionable. However, Dobbins is back on the field and will join a deep running back rotation in training camp that includes Mike Davis, Justice Hill, Corey Clement, sixth-round pick Tyler Badie and Nate McCrary.