CINCINNATI — Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins wished it had been him with the ball on the goal line, not Tyler Huntley, Sunday night in Cincinnati.
The Ravens had been cruising on a productive fourth-quarter drive and just needed one more yard on third-and-goal. Huntley leaped over the pile, the ball popped out, and the Bengals returned it for a 98-yard touchdown, changing the game’s entire tone and giving the Bengals a 24-17 lead over the Ravens that they would never relinquish.
Dobbins had scored earlier in the game, stretching out to get a fraction of the football over the plane of the end zone. He wanted a chance to find pay dirt once more.
“I don’t get a single carry. I didn’t get a single carry. He should never have been in that situation,” Dobbins said of his quarterback. “I believe I would have put it in the end zone, again.”
Dobbins caught four passes for 43 yards and added 62 rushing yards on 13 carries. Afterward, he bemoaned his lack of rushing attempts. He said he told people on the sideline he’d wanted more touches and wondered aloud, “Why am I not out there?”
“I should be the guy. I’m tired of holding that back,” he said. “I’m a playmaker. I’m a guy that my teammates feed off me when I’m on the field. I should be out there all the time.”
A second-round pick by Baltimore in 2020 out of Ohio State, Dobbins had a strong rookie year but suffered a knee injury in the 2021 preseason, tearing his ACL, LCL, meniscus and hamstring. He returned this season but still didn’t feel like himself, so after a Week 6 loss to the New York Giants, he decided to undergo another minor procedure on his knee.
Again, he returned, this time in Week 14, feeling and looking stronger.
He said he plans to “get back to my old self” this offseason.
“It was very encouraging,” he said of his second operation. “I showed people the scope was an amazing thing to do.”