OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have ruled out J.K. Dobbins for Sunday’s AFC North showdown with Cleveland and apparently won’t have their starting running back for even longer than that.
After exiting in the second quarter of last week’s loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium and sitting out the entire practice week, Dobbins is set to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and is expected to miss four to six weeks, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The third-year running back appeared to be favoring his surgically-repaired left knee on his final carry with 10:49 to go in the first half and didn’t play again in Week 6. Dobbins tore the ACL, LCL, meniscus, and hamstring in his left leg in the 2021 preseason finale and had rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries over four games in his return this season.
Head coach John Harbaugh didn’t answer directly when asked Monday whether Dobbins needed to undergo any tests or further examination after playing only 16 snaps.
“I just think it’s just part of the … That knee is not going to be like, all of a sudden, ‘OK, now it’s healthy,'” Harbaugh said. “This is a process. You saw it last year … with [Saquon] Barkley, and look at him now. I just feel like J.K. is pushing as hard as he can to get through it. He’s a really good back right now, no question, and he’s only going to get better. He’s going to get back to being – and better – than he’s ever been before soon. What that timeframe is, it just depends.”
The good news at the position was the healthy return to the practice field for fourth-year running back Justice Hill (hamstring), who practiced fully all week and did not carry a game status designation on the final injury report. Inactive for the last two games, Hill had led all Baltimore running backs in rushing prior to Kenyan Drake’s breakout 119-yard performance against the Giants last week.
The Ravens could also elect to activate running back Gus Edwards, who began the season on the physically unable to perform list and has been practicing since Oct. 5. The fifth-year running back suffered an ACL tear just days before the 2021 season opener and would need to be placed on the 53-man roster at the conclusion of his 21-day practice window next week.
“Gus is looking really good, and I think he’s on track,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday. “We’re really excited about having him back. I think he’s getting better every day, and it’s visual. I can visually see it, so really excited about that.”
General manager Eric DeCosta would have until 4 p.m. Saturday to activate Edwards or outside linebackers Tyus Bowser or David Ojabo, who both began their 21-day practice windows last week. Bowser didn’t practice on Friday, which wouldn’t appear to be a good sign for his Week 7 availability, while the rookie Ojabo is expected to be brought along more slowly ahead of his NFL debut.
Having practiced all week on a limited basis, top wide receiver Rashod Bateman was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. The 2021 first-round pick has been dealing with a mid-foot sprain that sidelined him in the second half of the Week 4 loss to Buffalo.
“It’s feeling good. I’m getting better day by day, so I guess we’ll look and see,” said Bateman, who didn’t want to comment on his Week 7 status. “That’s a coach [Harbaugh] decision. I honestly can’t wait to see what he says either.”
The Ravens also listed outside linebacker Justin Houston (groin), cornerback Marcus Peters (quad), right tackle Morgan Moses (heel), and fullback Patrick Ricard (knee) as questionable with only Ricard practicing fully Friday. Sidelined since the Week 3 win at New England, the 33-year-old Houston was a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday before receiving a rest day.
With Baltimore playing a Thursday road game at Tampa Bay next week, Harbaugh acknowledged the quick turnaround could complicate some decisions on players returning from injuries.
Tight end Mark Andrews (knee) missed two days of practice this week before working on a limited basis Friday, but both he and Harbaugh said he’s ready to play against the Browns despite his “questionable” label. Even during training camp, the All-Pro tight end rarely misses practice, which raised some questions about his health over the course of the week.
“It was just one of those things talking with the coaches and the trainers. Obviously, that’s a hard field that we just played on,” said Andrews, referring to the maligned artificial turf at MetLife Stadium. “My body feels great right now. I’m ready to go.”
Cleveland officially ruled out cornerback Denzel Ward (concussion) and Pro Bowl right guard Wyatt Teller (calf) and listed defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) as questionable, but fellow Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett told local reporters he expects Clowney to suit up against the Ravens. Clowney was a limited practice participant on Thursday and Friday after sitting out last week’s game.
Below is the final injury report for Week 7:
OUT: RB J.K. Dobbins (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Mark Andrews (knee), WR Rashod Bateman (foot), G Ben Cleveland (foot), OLB Justin Houston (groin), OT Morgan Moses (heel), CB Marcus Peters (quad), FB Patrick Ricard (knee)
OUT: OT Joe Haeg (concussion), G Wyatt Teller (calf), CB Denzel Ward (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Jadeveon Clowney (ankle), DE Isaac Rochell (knee)