J.K. Dobbins eyeing 2024 return, but will the Ravens be interested?

OWINGS MILLS — Running back J.K. Dobbins has had games in which he’s shown the Ravens what he can do when healthy. Unfortunately, there have been too few of those games.

Dobbins, 25, has appeared in just 24 games since being drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

This past season, Dobbins suffered a season-ending torn Achilles in the opener against the Texans.

Dobbins is eligible for free agency, but he might find a limited number of suitors because of those injuries. He could return to Baltimore on a one-year deal to prove he can stay healthy and to fulfill that promise.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is leaving the door open for Dobbins’ possible return.

“We’ll talk to J.K. – a couple of free agents that we had,” DeCosta said. “[We’re] hopeful that we can get something done with those guys.”

Dobbins is determined to prove he can still be one of the top running backs in the NFL. He recently posted a video on X that shows him running and working out to prove that his Achilles injury is healing and that he will be ready to play in 2024.

Dobbins had his best season as a rookie when he ran for 805 yards with nine touchdowns on 134 carries. He then missed the entire 2021 season with a major knee injury suffered in a preseason game against Washington.

In 2022, Dobbins appeared in eight games and finished with 520 yards rushing with two touchdowns on 92 carries before suffering another season-ending injury this past year.

The Ravens have just two tailbacks on the active roster — Justice Hill and Keaton Mitchell, who won’t be available for the beginning of the 2024 season because of a knee injury. DeCosta confirmed the team will be looking to add more playmakers at that position.

The free-agent market for running backs is crowded this offseason with Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollar all available, and the Ravens could pounce on one of those players. The Ravens also could re-sign Gus Edwards, but he is already costing them $1.8 in dead money, which is a salary cap charge for a player who is no longer on a team’s roster.

The NFL Draft also lists talented players at running back, including Audric Estime’ (Notre Dame), Jaylen Wright (Tennessee), Trey Benson (Florida State), and Marshawn Lloyd (USC).

It could turn out to be a buyer’s market for running backs this offseason.

“We don’t have a lot of guys under contract right now,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We have Justice Hill. I love the way Justice played. He was incredible all year [and] took another step. He’s a great player, then, after that, we just have to see. … We’ll just have to see how it goes.”


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