Ravens' J.K. Dobbins (knee) expected to make debut on Sunday against Patriots

Reinforcement may be coming for the Ravens on the ground.

Running back J.K. Dobbins is expected to play Sunday against the Patriots after missing all of 2021 with a torn ACL, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Dobbins has been closing in on this day, practicing in full for the previous two weeks. In his last fully healthy season -- his rookie year -- he rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns on 134 carries.

Assuming there are no setbacks, the third-year back figures to deliver another angle of attack for a Baltimore team that will be looking to bounce back after its stunning 42-38 loss to the Dolphins in Week 2.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson delivered 119 rushing yards in that game, but contribution from the actual running backs was sorely lacking. Justice Hill was Baltimore's second-leading rusher with 16 yards, and the five players to carry the ball aside from Jackson totaled 36 yards.

In Week 1, the Ravens managed only 63 rushing yards. They rank 19th in rushing overall two weeks into the season.

Baltimore has exercised caution with Dobbins throughout camp and in the early weeks of the 2022 season, but whatever workload he figures to receive on Sunday and beyond finally allows the team an explosive backfield option it has been missing to take the pressure off Jackson's legs.  

Jackson has already thrown for 518 yards and six touchdowns while leading the Ravens in rushing in 2022. With Dobbins lining up beside him, the former MVP has an opportunity to become even more lethal.

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