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Ravens prepared for rough loss of J.K. Dobbins 20 years ago – Baltimore Ravens Blog

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The Baltimore Ravens have a long history of drafting players from the SEC. In 1996, they selected J.K. Dobbins out of Tennessee State in the 4th round of the NFL Draft, but he never played for them.

The ravens nfl is a blog that discusses the Baltimore Ravens. It was created in 1997 and has been active ever since.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The town of OWINGS MILLS is located in the state of Maryland. Former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Qadry Ismail tweeted a few hours after word surfaced Sunday that running back J.K. Dobbins is likely gone for the season with a knee injury — a worry subsequently verified — saying, “What in the Jamal Lewis circa 2001 is going on!”

Dobbins’ injury served as a sad reminder that this year marks the 20th anniversary of Ray Lewis tearing his ACL in his left knee during training camp, derailing the Ravens’ hopes of repeating as Super Bowl winners before the season even started. After allowing Priest Holmes to depart in free agency, Baltimore lacked a reliable backup behind Lewis. The Ravens ultimately matched an elderly Terry Allen with a raw Jason Brookins, and the experience taught them a hard lesson that club executives will never forget.

In some ways, the Ravens have been preparing for Dobbins’ departure for almost two decades. Dobbins had the same injury to his knee as Lewis. He, like Lewis, was injured in the weeks leading up to the regular season. However, the present situation in Baltimore is not the same as it was in 2001.

What the hell is going on, Jamal Lewis from 2001!?!?! https://t.co/CBmJ6MZcEP

August 29, 2021 — QadryIsmail (@IamQadryIsmail)

Because of Dobbins’ season-ending injury, no one is writing off the Ravens’ championship hopes. According to Caesars Sportsbook, their Super Bowl chances are still 14-to-1, the fifth-best in the NFL.

In Gus Edwards, the Ravens have a starter-caliber replacement, a running system that has a history of generating extremely effective backs, and a dynamic playmaker in quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has always been the Ravens’ most dangerous runner, even when Dobbins lined up beside him.

Edwards, 26, is a tough, straight-ahead runner who lost weight last summer and now seems to be quicker than he has ever been. He is seldom stopped beyond the line, which is one of the reasons why Pro Football Focus has given him the fifth-best rushing grade (90.2) since 2018. It’s reasonable to expect Edwards to rush for 1,100 to 1,200 yards and a touchdown total in the double digits.

Without Dobbins, the Ravens’ backfield will be less dynamic. He became the first athlete since Adrian Peterson in 2012 to run for 800 yards, nine touchdowns, and a 6.0 yard average in a single season.

In the Ravens’ last preseason game on Saturday, J.K. Dobbins sustained a season-ending injury. Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

When questioned about Dobbins’ injuries after Saturday’s 37-3 thrashing of Washington, Ravens players seemed distraught. It’s a big loss for an offense that has had a lot of injuries this summer, especially at wide out and along the offensive line.

The statistics, on the other hand, indicate that the Ravens will lose little in terms of explosiveness and red-zone effectiveness.

Last season, Dobbins only had a 15-yard gain once per 11.1 carries on huge runs. In 2020, Edwards hit one out of every 14 batters.

Dobbins scored eight touchdowns on 25 carries inside the 20-yard line. On 25 attempts, Edwards scored six touchdowns.

The passing game suffers the most with the transition from Dobbins to Edwards. Dobbins spent the summer working on improving his pass-catching skills, including one-handed catches and leaping catches in the end zone. In three seasons, Edwards has 18 receptions.

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Edwards has already shown his ability to lead the Ravens’ rushing assault. Edwards took over as the starting running back midway through the 2018 season, while Jackson took over as the main quarterback. Edwards gained 654 yards during the last seven games of that season, behind just Saquon Barkley and Derrick Henry.

The Ravens, on the other hand, seem to favor Edwards as a backup running back, as shown by their actions. Baltimore signed free agent Mark Ingram II in 2019 and then selected Dobbins in the second round of the 2020 draft.

Ty’Son Williams, a second-year player out of BYU who has surpassed Justice Hill on the depth chart, is Edwards’ backup. The Ravens were pleased by Williams’ physicality.

When the Ravens signed Edwards to a two-year, $10 million contract this summer, they offered him a vote of confidence. It was a well-deserved honor for Edwards, who went from being undrafted to becoming one of just two players in the NFL’s first three seasons to run for at least 700 yards and average 5-plus yards per carry.

Because of the availability of backup Gus Edwards, who has shown he can handle starting responsibilities, the Ravens are in better position today than they were when Jamal Lewis was hurt in 2001. Getty Images/Chris Keane

Since 2001, Baltimore has been in desperate need of a dependable backup running back. Chester Taylor, Mike Anderson, Willis McGahee, Ricky Williams, and Justin Forsett have all been the Ravens’ No. 2 running backs throughout the years.

Ray Rice was cut when footage emerged of him hitting his then-fiancée during an incident at an Atlantic City hotel in 2014. The Ravens had to switch to their backup running back before the start of the season in 2014. Baltimore advanced to the AFC divisional round of the playoffs, and Forsett responded with a Pro Bowl season.

The Ravens don’t feel like they’ve lost their stride because of Edwards with two weeks before the start of the 2021 season. Because of what the Ravens learned 20 years ago, Dobbins’ injury hasn’t derailed Baltimore’s title hopes.

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