When the day of his return finally arrived, J.K. Dobbins was ready to deliver.
Rushing for 23 yards on seven carries and catching two passes for 17 yards against the Patriots on Sunday, Dobbins added immediate punch to Baltimore's offense in his first game back after major knee surgery.
Dobbins missed the entire 2021 season and the first two games this year, but now that his return is real, he's looking to make a great impact as he rounds into form.
"If felt great, (I'm) blessed to be back out there," Dobbins said. "I'm happy about that, but now it's time for me to try to do what I do. And that's run for 100 yards and stuff like that."
It was no surprise that Dobbins wasn't a workhorse back in Baltimore's 37-26 victory, and the hot hand at running back was Justice Hill (six carries, 60 yards) as the Ravens' run game had its most effective outing of the season.
For Dobbins, returning to what he loves to do was huge both physically and mentally.
"The emotions were very high," Dobbins said. "When I got out there, I wasn't even worried about taking that first hit; I was just worried about making a play. The night before, I was thinking about it, but it was good to get back out there."
Head Coach John Harbaugh saw enough from Dobbins during the week in practice to feel that Week 3 was the right time for him to return.
"We were looking at last week and just felt like this week would be the kind of week, and it just kind of made sense this week in terms of how he looked," Harbaugh said.
With this game under his belt, Dobbins is looking forward to fulfilling the promise he showed prior to his injury when he rushed for 805 yards as a rookie. His rehab was long and difficult, but getting back on the field made it all worthwhile.
"It's made me a better person, a better man, and I keep chipping away, keep getting better each week," Dobbins said.