J.K. Dobbins extended ACL recovery should set him up nicely for 2022 return

Ravens’ RB J.K. Dobbins has been a full participant in the last two weeks of team practice despite not suiting up in Week 2 against Miami.

He’s been steadily ramping up football activities as he continues to rehab from the torn ACL he suffered in Baltimore’s 2021 preseason finale. Generally, ACL recovery takes six to nine months, so Ravens fans have been curious as to what is supposedly taking Dobbins so long to return.

Dobbins tore his ACL on this play (NFL)

In reality, Dobbins is still well within what is considered a normal ACL recovery timeline given his position. Walking and resuming normal joint function is just one step of the recovery, running, jumping, cutting, and getting hit repeatedly is another thing.

Still just 23 years old, Dobbins is also in a position where he can regain his explosiveness with relative ease, as opposed to someone later along in their NFL career. While there’s no guarantee he will return to his pre-injury form, age is certainly on his side. That means that if the Ravens think he’s better off being held out, it’s likely for the best.

Dobbins entered the league in 2020 as a second-round pick out of Ohio State with a highly desirable blend of power and speed. Preserving that should be at the top of Baltimore’s list of priorities.

Our algorithm predicts he has reached Optimal Recovery, which is a good sign for him to play in Week 3. Additionally, his Injury Risk and Health Performance Factor are both trending in the right direction.

It’s safe to assume he will be limited when he returns, at least initially. Beyond that, he should finish out the season strong. We predicted him to be a sleeper for Comeback Player of the Year during the offseason, after all.

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