For the first time in nearly a year, J.K. Dobbins is back with the Ravens at practice. The team took its starting running back off the active/PUP list Monday.
Suffering a torn ACL and sustaining LCL and meniscus damage during the team’s final preseason game last year, Dobbins has not played since his rookie season. Monday’s news does not necessarily mean Dobbins will be in uniform when the Ravens open up their regular season, but it obviously helps open the door to that reality. The third-year back can begin ramping up in full toward debuting with his teammates in Week 1.
The Ravens also signed cornerback Daryl Worley, who worked out with the team over the weekend, and moved linebacker Vince Biegel on IR. This marks somewhat of a reunion for Worley, who finished last season with the Ravens. The veteran cover man, however, played in just one game with the 2021 Ravens. He has played for five other teams over the course of a six-year career.
Dobbins became a key presence as a rookie, averaging six yards per carry and rushing for nine touchdowns. He did this largely as a reserve, starting just one game as part of a deep backfield. The Ohio State product will be brought along slowly ahead of the regular season.
The knee injuries suffered by Dobbins and Gus Edwards threw Baltimore’s backfield into disarray last season. No Ravens running back topped 600 yards in 2021. Veterans Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman led the way, each clearing the 500-yard mark as part of a committee composed of late free agency additions. Le’Veon Bell was also briefly part of this coalition, as was Ty’Son Williams. None of these players are with Baltimore this year.
The Ravens still face significant questions about their backfield ahead of Week 1, due also to Edwards remaining on the active/PUP list. Teams have until August 23 to move players off the active/PUP list. Doing so avoids a player being shut down for the season’s first four games. Like Dobbins, Edwards is finishing up ACL recovery. Veteran Mike Davis and sixth-round rookie Tyler Badie are now part of the team’s backfield equation.
Despite his nomadic NFL run, Worley is still just 27. He worked as a primary starter for the Panthers and Raiders from 2016-19 but has been more of a depth piece since. The former third-round pick was with the Bills, Cowboys and Lions prior to catching on with the Ravens to close last season.
Biegel suffered a torn ACL last week. The Ravens had signed him in May. This represents another bad late-20s break for Biegel. The 29-year-old defender missed the 2020 season because of an Achilles tear. The former starter recovered to return as a Dolphins backup last season, yo-yoing on and off Miami’s practice squad.