Rookie J.K. Dobbins Emerging as Lead Running Back for Ravens

Second-round pick has emerged as a key playmaker
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BALTIMORE — After another long run, J.K. Dobbins was clearly not happy about being pulled from the game as he angrily paced the sideline Week 11 against the Titans.

The rookie from Ohio State has been one of the team's top playmakers, and the time has come for the Ravens to abandon the rotation at running back and give Dobbins the ball.

Dobbins played 41 snaps in the 30-24 overtime loss to the Titans, well ahead of fellow running backs Gus Edwards (13), Justice Hill (seven) and Mark Ingram (six). Dobbins responded by leading the team with 70 yards on 15 carries (4.7 ypc) with a touchdown. 

He also had two receptions for 15 yards and has made a strong case to maintain that No. 1 role at running back moving forward. 

"I have to find a way to help this team win the game," Dobbins said. "No matter what I do, I have to find a way to win this game for the team [and] help my team win. I didn’t get that job done today, so I’ll have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what I have to do better.”

Overall, Dobbins is second on the team with 380 yards rushing behind quarterback Lamar Jackson (575). However, Dobbins has 13 fewer carries with 72 than Edwards, who has run the ball 85 times for 376 yards.

Dobbins, however, manages to give the Ravens a spark because he doesn't stop churning his legs and has uncanny balance along the sideline.

He also has a swagger, underscored by his heated exchange with Titans cornerback Desmond King. 

“That’s just the competitive spirit in me," Dobbins said. "I’m a competitive guy. I’m very passionate. I love this game. I love playing the game. He’s a pro. He probably loves playing the game, too. So, we’re just two guys that are competing. We know who each other are, we’re good. It was just competitive – that’s how I like it to be. That’s what I’m here for;

Dobbins teammates are ready for him to carry the majority of the load among the crowded backfield. He'll get an opportunity to further entrench himself as a starter Thanksgiving night against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, who surrendered 113 yards rushing to the rookie in Week 8.

"He’s an elite talent, he’s a great running back, he’s got a really, really bright future, and a really, really bright future here in Baltimore," left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. said. "He’s capable of a lot of different things, and we have a lot of trust in him. I trust him. As one of the veterans on this team, I’ve got a lot of trust in him. So, it’s what we expect from him.”