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News & Notes: John Harbaugh Expects J.K. Dobbins Back 'Very Soon'

RB J.K. Dobbins
RB J.K. Dobbins

Running back J.K. Dobbins has been on the PUP list since the beginning of training camp and has not practiced, though he has been at the Under Armour Performance Center daily.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday that he expects Dobbins to be on the field soon.

"The ball is in J.K.'s court," Harbaugh said. "We have talked. We talked again yesterday. We had a great conversation. I do expect him back very soon, but I don't have anything to say about it. It's up to J.K., so hopefully that will happen soon."

Harbaugh said training camp reps are valuable for any player, whether experienced like Dobbins or rookies. Dobbins is not expected to see playing time during preseason games. His reps in training camp and practices leading up Week 1 are his only chance to build on-field timing with his teammates in Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's new system.

"Generally speaking, to be a great player, you know you need to put in the time and the effort and just get with the team and get right," Harbaugh said. "[J.K. Dobbins] wants to do that in his case, and that's why I kind of expect him back here pretty soon."

Fellow running back Gus Edwards said he wasn't concerned about Dobbins' ability to catch up when he returns.

"I mean, I see him every day," Edwards said. "He's in there. He's still working hard. I know he's going to be ready, because that's the type of guy he is."

Trayvon Mullen Could Miss Entire Season Following Toe Surgery

Harbaugh said veteran cornerback Trayvon Mullen could miss the 2023 season after undergoing recent toe surgery.

The 25-year-old Mullen is on the reserve/non-football injury list. The cousin of Lamar Jackson, Mullen spent the majority of last season with the Cardinals and played one game with the Cowboys. A second-round pick with the Raiders in 2019, Mullen spent his first three seasons with them and made 31 starts. 

"I can't say exactly if it's the whole season or not, but it's a pretty definitive toe surgery," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh said cornerback Arthur Maulet, who has not practiced this week, is dealing with a sore hamstring.

Melvin Gordon's Acceleration Has Impressed Harbaugh

Veteran running back Melvin Gordon has been diving into the playbook and practice reps since being signed July 21st. He's at the point where he's playing at full speed without thinking too much.

"It's going good," Gordon said. "You know the first couple of weeks … I wasn't here for minicamp and OTAs, so I got the playbook a little late. It's coming along. I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable, [and] I'm starting to play a little faster. Coach [Monken] is throwing some new stuff at us every day, [and] he's keeping us on our toes. It's good for us though."

Harbaugh has been impressed by Gordon's diligence, and he has often stayed after practice for more reps.

"He's working on his own extra. He's been at every practice, he's taken every single rep," Harbaugh said. "He's having a heck of a camp. I think he's looks really good his ability to change speed through the hole and accelerate [and] change the angle on a tackler. We'll see in the games. Obviously, he's a very talented player, and he sure looks good to me."

Willie Taggart Is Working for His Third Coach Named Harbaugh

New Running Backs Coach Willie Taggart has been a coaching trailblazer as the first Black head coach at five different colleges – Western Kentucky, South Florida, Oregon, Florida State and Florida. He joined the Ravens' staff this offseason and has enjoyed being able to focus strictly on football without worrying about recruiting.

"Sometimes I've got to check my phone to see if it still works," Taggart said. "It's nice to be able to coach football, and that's what you're doing – you're coaching ball and getting those guys ready to go. To be a part of a great organization like the Ravens has just made it that much better."

Taggart has been extremely close to the Harbaugh family for more than three decades. He played quarterback for Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky and joined Harbaugh's staff after his playing career ended. From 2007-09, Taggart was running backs coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh.

Now Taggart is working for his third member of the Harbaugh family and feels right at home.

"They all have different personalities," Taggart said. "They all are great coaches and go about doing things their own way. It's been pretty cool to watch John and how he goes about running the organization, our team and our staff. Now, I can say I've worked for all three of them, and I can tell you all three of them are different, but they're the same. So, it's been fun."

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