Keeping in line with their stated intention, the Ravens have returned two key players to the active roster in advance of tomorrow’s game against the Steelers. Running back J.K. Dobbins and safety Marcus Williams have been activated from IR, per a team announcement.
Baltimore had pegged Week 14 as the goal for both players to return, so the news comes as little surprise. Dobbins’ activation was foreshadowed yesterday when veteran Mike Davis was waived. The former missed all of 2021 due to a knee injury, and his recovery lasted into the fall of this season. He made his 2022 debut in Week 3, but things did not go according to plan,
Dobbins played in three consecutive games following his return, but logged a snap share of 50% just once in that time. That led to another knee procedure in October, one which invited speculation that the Ohio State alum had suffered a new injury. Instead, the latest operation was aimed at accelerating Dobbins’ return to full health, something which would be a welcomed sight for the Ravens.
Baltimore ranks third in the league with an average of 158 rushing yards per game, but much of that production has come from quarterback Lamar Jackson. With the 2019 MVP expected to miss at least Sunday’s contest, the Ravens will no doubt look to lean heavily on their tailbacks. Dobbins’ return will allow he and backup Gus Edwards to play in the same game for the first time since the 2020 postseason.
Williams should immediately re-take his starting role upon returning on Sunday. The big-ticket free agent signing had a productive start to his Ravens career, notching three interceptions in his first five games. The former Saint will have a chance to eclipse his career-high in that regard (four) if he can stay healthy for the remainder of the campaign. Geno Stone will likely cede first-team duties with Williams back in the fold.
The Ravens have been strong in certain defensive aspects this season, but their pass defense has been lacking during parts of the campaign. Overall, they sit 25th in the league with an average of 248 yards per game allowed, a figure which could be improved upon with Williams available once again. To make room for his return, the Ravens have placed veteran cornerback and special teamer Daryl Worley on IR, as noted (on Twitter) by ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
Baltimore will have two IR activations remaining as they head into the stretch run of the regular season. Dobbins and Williams should each have a significant role for the team as they attempt to maintain their lead in the AFC North.