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The Baltimore Ravens likely suffered a devastating blow in their final preseason game, losing running back J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending injury.
Dobbins was carted off the field during Saturday’s game and there was an almost immediate concern. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the second-year back is headed for an MRI but there is an expectation he suffered a torn ACL.
It’s a crushing blow for a Ravens’ offense that is already without Rashod Bateman. Considering how often Baltimore runs the football, finding depth at the position is crucial. Let’s examine 3 potential replacements for Dobbins.
Baltimore Ravens sign Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley should be one of the first free-agent running backs Baltimore calls. The team brought him in for a workout and there was some belief at the time he would sign. A deal didn’t materialize then, but it is far more possible now.
Gurley is years removed from being one of the best players in the NFL. He averaged just 3.5 yards per carry last season, even worse than the 3.8 ypc mark that led to his release by the Los Angeles Rams. With that said, he did score nine touchdowns this past season and the 6-foot-1 back could be used in short-yardage situations.
Duke Johnson becomes an offensive weapon
Before training camp, the Ravens talked about the importance of their running backs contributing on third down. There was plenty of buzz centered on Dobbins’ improvements catching the football and that’s an element the Ravens likely want to add following his injury,
Duke Johnson won’t be trusted to run between the tackles, but he remains a nice weapon out of the backfield. He averaged 8.9 yards per catch this past season, hauling in 80% of the balls thrown his way. While dual-threat quarterbacks typically throw passes to running backs less often, Johnson has proven that he is a capable receiver and he’d fill a role in Baltimore.
Latavius Murray traded to Baltimore Ravens
Viewed as one of the best running backs in the NFL entering the year, Latavius Murray is now on the roster bubble in New Orleans. The Saints seem prepared to move on from him and considering there will be a market to sign him, a trade might be the best option for Baltimore.
Murray has been extremely productive over the past two seasons working behind Alvin Kamara. He’s averaged 4.4 yards per carry over the last two seasons, turning 292 carries into 1,293 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
This would also be the ideal landing spot for Murray. He’d retain a role similar to the one he played for the Saints and he would land on an even better team. The Ravens have the Day 3 picks to pull this off, so a trade wouldn’t be a surprise.