Baltimore captured a 25-9 win over Houston as a 9.5-point home favorite in Sunday’s opener. However, the Ravens’ win was bittersweet due to the loss of running back J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending injury.
Dobbins, the fourth-year RB out of Ohio St., suffered a torn Achilles. He had 22 rushing yards and one touchdown on eight carries before sustaining the injury in the third quarter.
As a rookie in 2020, Dobbins played in 15 of 16 regular-season games and had 805 rushing yards, nine TDs and a 6.0 yards-per-carry average. In two postseason games, Dobbins had 85 rushing yards and one TD with a 4.5 YPC average. He also had four receptions for 45 yards.
Dobbins tore his ACL in preseason the following year and missed the entire 2021 campaign. Injuries limited him to eight regular-season games last year, but he still had 520 rushing yards, two TDs and a 5.7 YPC average. In a heartbreaking loss at Cincinnati in the playoffs, Dobbins had 62 rushing yards on 13 carries and four catches for 43 yards and one TD.
Without Dobbins, RBs Gus Edwards and Justice Hill will take on an increased workload. Edwards had 32 rushing yards on eight carries vs. Houston, while Hill had nine rushing yards and two TDs on eight attempts.
Hill has played 44 regular-season games for the Ravens in four seasons. He had 262 rushing yards and a 5.3 YPC average in 2022. Hill also caught 12 balls out of the backfield for 58 receiving yards.
Like Hill and Dobbins, Edwards missed the entire 2021 season, but he’s been with Baltimore since 2018. Edwards has played in 53 regular-season games for the Ravens, producing 2,617 career rushing yards, 13 TDs and a 5.1 YPC average.
Edwards had 433 rushing yards and three TDs with a 5.0 YPC average in 2022. He also had nine receptions for 129 yards. In the postseason loss at Cincinnati, Edwards had 39 rushing yards on 12 totes and one catch for 13 yards.
Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh said the team will not look to add another RB for now. Instead, the Ravens will promote RB Melvin Gordon up from the practice squad. Gordon has produced at least 612 rushing yards in six of his seven seasons in the NFL.
The ninth-year veteran has 6,462 career rushing yards, 55 TDs and a 4.1 YPC average. Gordon also has 309 career catches for 2,467 yards and 14 TDs.
Baltimore could be without as many as six starters when it plays at Cincinnati in Week 2. Safety Marcus Williams (pectoral), center Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), CB Marlon Humphrey, OT Ronnie Stanley and TE Mark Andrews are all on the injury report.
Williams may have surgery and is out indefinitely.
“He’ll be out for a while,” Harbaugh said. “It may not be a season-ender, though.”
Andrews, who missed the spread-covering win over the Texans while nursing a quad injury, and Humphrey are both ‘questionable’ against the Bengals. Meanwhile, Linderbaum and Stanley’s injuries are considered “week to week.”
As of late Monday afternoon, most books had the Bengals installed as 3.5-point home favorites vs. the Ravens, who were +150 to +160 on the money line. The total was 46 or 46.5 points.