We've been waiting for J.K. Dobbins to be fully unleashed coming off his recovery from a torn ACL, but he seemingly took a step backward in Week 6, as he was unable to play in the second half of Sunday's loss to the Giants after his knee tightened up. Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave the details on the issue after the game, noting that perhaps the turf at Met Life Stadium played a part in Dobbins' status.
That's a frustrating turn of events for Dobbins, who had 15 yards on seven carries before the setback. He entered Sunday's game with 28 carries in his first three games, as the Ravens had been careful not to put too much on his plate coming off a serious knee injury that included damage to multiple ligaments.
And it puts Dobbins Fantasy appeal into question moving forward. Because, if you look ahead to Week 7, it'll be awfully tough to trust Dobbins against the Browns for that matchup. And then Dobbins has a Thursday Night Football matchup against the Buccaneers in Week 8, and given that he'll have less time to get ready for that game than usual, there will certainly be some concerns about his usage there. Then the Ravens have a tough matchup against the Saints on the way in Week 9, with the bye week looming after that.
Which is to say, even if, as Harbaugh made it seem, this wasn't a significant injury or setback for Dobbins, it does make it kind of hard to project Dobbins forward as a viable starting Fantasy option. Especially with Gus Edwards working his way back from his own torn ACL. Edwards has been practicing over the past couple of weeks and could be cleared to play soon. Obviously, Edwards will likely be worked in slowly, just as Dobbins has been, but he'll give the Ravens another productive runner they can mix in.
Kenyan Drake filled in for the Ravens Sunday and played very well, rushing for 119 yards, though it came on just 10 carries. He also had one catch for 8 yards, and should be a fringe Fantasy option for Week 7 – I might rank him ahead of Dobbins next week, but he probably won't be a top-30 back.
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The takeaway here might be that the Ravens backfield just won't have much appeal for Fantasy players over the next month or so. A limited Dobbins won't be worth starting most weeks, but Drake doesn't get enough work consistently enough to matter either; the looming return of Edwards figures to hamper both. It might just be a spot where three backs split the work, with Lamar Jackson also taking on a significant share of the carries, as well.
The Ravens want to run the ball, and when their backs are healthy, they'll probably be one of the best teams in the league at doing so. However, it's hard to get too excited about this backfield for Fantasy after seeing Dobbins leave Sunday's game.
- Kenny Pickett (concussion) – Pickett took a hit on a deep pass to Diontae Johnson in the third quarter and got slammed into the turf. He immediately went to the medical tent and then the locker room, and was shortly ruled out through the concussion protocol. Mitchell Trubisky came in and led the Steelers to a 20-18 win, and Pickett will have to clear the protocol to be able to play in Week 7 against the Dolphins. I can't find any evidence of Pickett missing time in college with a concussion, for what it's worth.
- Skylar Thompson (hand) – Getting the start in place of Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) after Teddy Bridgewater (concussion protocol) was held out of practice for much of the week, Thompson suffered a hand injury and was forced from the game in the second half. Bridgewater took over and completed 23 of 34 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns – as well as two interceptions in the 24-16 loss. Tagovailoa has been cleared to play and is expected to start in Week 7 against the Steelers, and Bridgewater figures to serve as the backup for that one.
- Deon Jackson (quad) – Jackson was one of the best stories of the day Sunday, totaling 121 yards on 12 carries and 10 catches, but he was forced from the game in the second half, with Phillip Lindsay handling the RB work after Jackson's injury. We'll keep an eye on this one in the coming downs, however with Jonathan Taylor (ankle) and Nyheim Hines (concussion) able to practice in the leadup to this week's game, they should be available for Week 7 against the Titans. However, assuming Jackson's injury isn't a long-term one, he has established himself as a potential must-start guy if Taylor or Hines misses time moving forward.
- Jaylen Waddle (shoulder) – Waddle had an up-and-down game, finishing with 129 yards on his six catches but also had a costly fumble as the Dolphins were trying to come back to tie the game. He suffered the injury late on a long catch-and-run, and Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel offered no real specifics when asked about the injury after the game. For what it's worth, Waddle told reporters he's "good" following the injury, but obviously we'll need to keep an eye on his status during practice this week. The Dolphins face the Steelers in Week 7 and are expected to get Tagovailoa back, so Waddle would be a must-start Fantasy WR if he is able to play.
- Randall Cobb (ankle) – Cobb had to be carted off the field and looked pretty emotional after suffering the injury, but according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Cobb had X-rays taken after the game that did not show a break or fracture. Cobb might be dealing with a high-ankle sprain, but he appeared to avoid a long-term injury, which is a good sign.
- Cameron Brate (neck) – Brate had to be carted off the field Sunday, a scary sight after he left Week 4 and missed Week 5 with a concussion. Bucs coach Todd Bowles told reporters after the game it was a neck injury, but either way, it's hard to imagine Brate is going to play in Week 7.