After missing the 2021 season because of a torn ACL, there were some high expectations in 2022 for Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins. Dobbins, a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, took the league by storm as a rookie, producing at a high clip despite being in a shared role.
Things got off to a slow start this season as J.K. Dobbins missed the first two games of the season. He played in four games before going to the team and saying that he needed another surgery as something wasn’t right in his knee.
The former Buckeye returned to the field in Week 14 and from that point on, he looked like the J.K. Dobbins we saw during his rookie season. After averaging only 3.5 yards per carry in his first four games, he averaged 7.0 yards per carry in the final four games of the season.
It was pretty evident that whatever was bothering him in the early going was no longer an issue down the stretch. J.K. Dobbins was ready to handle the lead back role for a Ravens offense that was lacking explosiveness with Lamar Jackson sidelined.
Despite the strong showing, Baltimore did not unleash J.K. Dobbins against the Cincinnati Bengals in their Super Wild Card Weekend matchup. He ended the game with 13 carries, gaining 62 yards while catching four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. Throughout the evening, he was by far the Ravens’ most explosive player, which is why he was so frustrated with the game plan.
In the fourth quarter with the game hanging in the balance, Tyler Huntley attempted to put the ball over the goal line for a touchdown that would have given the Ravens the lead. Huntley was a yard short and fumbled, which turned into a record-setting play by Bengals’ defensive end Sam Hubbard, who had a 98-yard touchdown fumble recovery.
J.K. Dobbins believes had the ball been put in his hands, the outcome would have been much different.
“He should have never been in that situation,” Dobbins said of Huntley. “I don’t get a single carry. I didn’t get a single carry. He should never have been in that situation. I believe I would have put it in the end zone, again.”
Dobbins’ touchdown earlier in the game was a two-yard reception that he was able to power into the end zone for. Alas, that was the only red zone touch that he received in the game, something that bothered him and he wasn’t afraid to let people know it.
“I’m a guy who feels like I should be on the field all the time,” Dobbins said. “It’s the playoffs. Why am I not out there?”
This isn’t the first time that J.K. Dobbins has voiced his frustration with his lack of involvement in the game plan. He was open with reporters leading up to the game, saying he wanted to put the team on his back and carry them to victory. The coaching staff drew his ire again, as he wants to be the man on offense.
“I should be the guy. I’m tired of holding that back,” said Dobbins. “I’m a playmaker. I’m a guy that my teammates feed off me when I’m on the field.”
Gus Edwards inexplicably received 12 carries, managing only 39 yards for a paltry 3.3 yards per carry. Huntley carried the ball nine times for 54 yards as well, having a few nice scrambles on the evening.
Nothing that J.K. Dobbins has been saying is inaccurate. He was by far the most consistent producer on the team offensively against the Bengals and for the majority of the time that Jackson has been sidelined. Had he received a larger workload, the game could have certainly ended up differently.