Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Ravens’ JK Dobbins has been in touch with Giants star Saquon Barkley

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When Baltimore Ravens running back JK Dobbins went down with a serious knee injury that ended his 2021 campaign before it even began, one of his first colleagues from around the league to come forward early in the process was the New Yorker Giants star running back Saquon Barkley.

The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft from Penn State suffered a serious knee injury in 2020 that ended his season after just two games. Nearly two years out of injury and behind a much-improved offensive line, Barkley appears to be his old dominant and incredibly dynamic self again. Against the Tennessee Titans in a week one thriller, the poor fifth-grader recorded 194 yards from scrimmage, including 164 rushes on 18 carries.

Watching him score a touchdown and the 2-point conversion that ultimately became the game-winning play put Dobbin’s heart in his close friend and gave him even more motivation to make the most of his opportunity whenever it presented itself comes.

“It’s great to see him out there doing it. I always knew he could bounce back,” Dobbins said in a Sept. 16, 2022 news conference. “A lot of people doubted him. … Guys like us, the work ethic is amazing. He can’t be stopped. I have a feeling I can do that too. It’s good to see him doing that and I pray he keeps doing it week in and week out because that’s what I intend to do.”

While not a former top-five pick like Barkley, the third-year pro is still the future of the Ravens backfield and will likely make his debut in front of a sold-out home crowd in 2022 for the first time in his career and his desire to make it one to make an unforgettable experience.

“It would be a surreal feeling to just get back out there,” Dobbins said. “In front of a full stadium, I haven’t done that since I’ve been in Baltimore. I know I’ll be excited and hopefully the fans will be excited too.”

While the Ravens could have three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters available for the first time this season, they could be without two of their top three options in Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Stephens. They are ruled questionable after missing practice earlier in the week and could be restricted even if they play the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Even with one or none playing, the two first-year pros who picked up the Ravens in the fourth round of this year’s draft could and will expect more playing time on defense. Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion ‘Pepe’ Williams combined for just 16 defensive snaps in Week 1, with Williams getting the lion’s share with 13. The team is confident of holding their own against one of the most dangerous and dynamic wide receiver tandems in the league with Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill coming in at two.

“You would be ready; They look good, but they’re beginners,” head coach John Harbaugh said in a press conference 09/16/2022. “It would be a new experience for them, but they worked hard. They are talented guys. You will play anyway; They’re going to be out there playing both defense and special teams no matter what the numbers end up being.”

With health-related question marks at cornerback and wide receiver, the Ravens decided to activate a player at each position from their side drill squad the day before their Week 2 matchup with the Dolphins.

After losing two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Kyle Fuller and with two of their top three players remaining in the position on the list listed as questionable to play on the final injury report, they activate one of their two veteran corners to add additional depth and to cover their bases is a wise decision. Roberts is a seventh-year veteran who appeared in a game with the team last season and has 54 career starts.

Third-year James Proche is unlikely to play this game after missing the last two days of training with a groin injury and listed as doubtful in the final injury report. Webb is an undrafted rookie who has the best teams over receivers on his practice squad and has shown he can play on the fly when his number is called preseason.

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