The Baltimore Ravens are expecting bad news on Sunday when running back J.K. Dobbins gets an MRI on his knee. Adam Schefter is reporting the expectation is Dobbins is done for the season. This follows Ravens beat writer Jeff Zrebiec reporting that anything short of a season-ending injury would be considered a win.
Dobbins suffered the injury early in the Ravens preseason finale against Washington. He caught a screen pass and his leg was bent backward while getting tackled. He was helped off the field by teammates and then was carted back to the locker room.
With Dobbins out for potentially the entire season, the Ravens are likely going to move to a committee approach in the backfield for the time being. Someone might emerge, but they don’t have a specific go-to guy who would take on the full workload.
The Ravens backfield includes Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Ty’Son Williams, and Nate McRary. The NFL season is just under two weeks away with roster cuts this coming Tuesday. The team could elect to keep all four backs for the time being, or could cut McRary and still potentially add a veteran free agent. For the time being, here is what we can assess for fantasy football implications of Dobbins’ injury.
The Gus Bus becomes the de facto No. 1 back and would probably end up with the most touches in the early going. However, he will give up work to Hill and potentially Williams, McRary, or a veteran addition. Until we get a better handle on the roster this coming week, Edwards is no more than an RB3 in standard leagues, and RB3/flex in PPR leagues.
Hill was going to get most of his work on passing downs, and that only grows with the Dobbins injury. His value is primarily in PPR leagues, where he could turn into an RB3 option. In standard leagues, he’s likely not as high, but he gets a little more value with an increase in touches.
UPDATE: Beat writer Jamison Hensley describes Williams as being ahead of Hill on the depth chart.
If Dobbins is out for the season, Ravens’ top two backs are Gus Edwards and Ty’Son Williams https://t.co/PX7RECb0aB— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) August 29, 2021
Williams has consistently impressed beat writers in the preseason and put together 42 yards on four carries against Washington. He only played 14 snaps after Dobbins got hurt, which is a good indication he’s making the roster and could have a significant role. He’s pushed Hill for backup work, so this will be one to watch. Williams is a deep stash for now, but could emerge into a decent-sized role with Dobbins out.
The Ravens leaned on McRary on Saturday after Dobbins got hurt. He seems likely to either be cut or be a game-day inactive in the early going while the Ravens figure out their backfield. He has no fantasy value unless there are further injuries on the depth chart.