NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday on NFL NOW that it's no sure thing Dobbins is cleared to play when the season opens.
"It sounds like the recovery is going well," Rapoport relayed. "He is pushing as hard as he possibly can. There really hasn't been any setbacks. That said, just based on the timing of the injury, my understanding is he's no sure thing to make Week 1. In fact, based on an estimate I was given by someone I trust, there's certainly a possibility that he is not ready for Week 1, perhaps even could get on the field a couple weeks after that. It's not to say his rehab is going bad. It was just a serious, complex injury. It was an ACL, it was a meniscus, there was damage to the lateral side. There was a lot."
The Ravens have tread cautiously with Dobbins' rehab after he shredded his knee taking part in the final preseason game. Dobbins sounds like a candidate to open training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and it's almost certain we won't see him in any preseason action this time around.
Dobbins caught wind of Rapoport's report and took exception to the suggestion he won't be ready Week 1.
"I might not even go on PUP because that's how good my rehab is going," Dobbins wrote on Twitter. "I'm damn sure going to be ready for Week 1."
Dobbins was poised to have a monster workload last season before the injury wiped out his campaign. While there has been hope that the dual-threat slasher could take up where he left off after a sterling rookie campaign, Rapoport's report splashes cold water on that optimism. Even if, as Dobbins suggest, he's ready to go Week 1, it's likely the Ravens will share the workload off the bat.
The Ravens have said throughout the process that they wouldn't push Dobbins back until he's close to 100 percent. Their offseason maneuvers haven't wavered from that plan. They signed veteran Mike Davis, who has proven he can handle a workload. Baltimore also has Gus Edwards coming back from an ACL injury. Rapoport noted that it sounds like Edwards' rehab is going well, and Edwards appears on track for Week 1.
The Ravens could play it slow with Dobbins, leaning on others to open the season to ensure the starter is fully healthy before injecting him back into the run-heavy scheme after the season has kicked off.
With Ravens veterans reporting for camp on July 26, we'll get a better idea of where exactly Dobbins is in the rehab process and whether he'll be held out to open the season -- and possibly longer.