Entering his first NFL training camp, Ravens rookie running back J.K. Dobbins was not bashful when talking about the idea of sitting behind the team’s veteran backs.
“My goal ain’t to be patient,” Dobbins said in late July. “I was not taught that in college. You know, don’t be patient. Take advantage of your opportunities.”
Less than two weeks from his first professional game, Dobbins’ steadfast approach might have led him to an integral role in the offense.
“I think he’s going to definitely have a role and he’s definitely going to have probably a significant role,” coach John Harbaugh said on a video conference call after Tuesday’s practice. “But again, it comes down to how it goes. He’s looked really good in practice, he works really hard. ... He wants to be good, he wants to play, he’s confident. Confidence plus coachability plus talent, it’s a pretty good combination. And he’s got all of that.”
Dobbins, the No. 55 overall pick in April’s draft, has shined in the reduced training camp period, as injuries to Justice Hill and Kenjon Barner opened more opportunities for the former Ohio State star.
Ravens coaches haven’t divulged what the offensive workload might look like, insisting that a platoon strategy will benefit the team over the course of a 16-game regular season.
The quartet of Dobbins, Hill, Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards has struck up a strong camaraderie, even as the distribution of carries continues to be a talking point. Each player comes with their own strengths, but Dobbins, who has impressed as a pass-catcher, might present the most diverse skill set.
“A lot of people don’t know in college I had a lot of catches and stuff like that so I can catch the ball out of the backfield,” Dobbins said. “But everybody in the room can do that. We’re all pretty well-rounded.”
Madubuike ’week-to-week’ with undisclosed injury
Harbaugh said that rookie defensive lineman Justin Madubuike is “week-to-week” after suffering an injury in Saturday’s scrimmage, a distinction that seemingly puts his availability for the opener in question.
Madubuike’s leg was stretched by a trainer in the first half of the scrimmage at M&T Bank Stadium before he left for the locker room. The third-round pick did not return and was absent from practice Monday and Tuesday.
“[It’s] nothing close to season-ending, it won’t be multiple weeks during the season,” Harbaugh said. “He got caught up in a little pile. He’s a little more than day-to-day, maybe week-to-week here for a couple weeks and we’ll just see where he’s at. But he’ll be OK.”
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Harbaugh didn’t comment on how the injury might affect roster decisions ahead of Saturday’s 4 p.m. cutdown deadline. The team still has rookie Broderick Washington, Justin Ellis and undrafted rookie Aaron Crawford on the roster for depth options along the line.
- Harbaugh didn’t give too much insight into the competition between Trace McSorley and undrafted rookie Tyler Huntley for the team’s third quarterback spot, saying he likes the progression of all four quarterbacks on the roster. “We’ll see. They’re all doing well,” he said. “I like what they’re doing. They’re at different stages of their careers. It plays out every day, but we like them both. We like all four of our guys. They’re all doing good but they’re all at different places right now in their development.”
- With the NFL’s cut-down deadline just four days away, a handful of Ravens on the team’s roster bubble were absent from practice Tuesday. Running back Kenjon Barner (leg), wide receiver Chris Moore (finger) and rookie cornerback Josh Nurse (groin) remained out for at least the open portion of practice. Rookie tight end Eli Wolf, who’d scrimmaged Saturday and practiced Monday after missing time early in training camp, was also absent. The Ravens will have to trim their roster from 76 players to 53 by 4 p.m Saturday. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and cornerback Anthony Averett, who are all likely to make the team’s initial roster, missed practice as well. Ingram and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. were back after missing Monday’s.