Chargers' RB J.K. Dobbins has the perfect response to his loudest critics

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The first move the LA Chargers made in free agency was to sign former Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards. This signing made a lot of sense with GM Joe Hortiz and offensive coordinator Greg Roman both coming from the Ravens.

Los Angeles did not stop there, however. After a month of sitting on a running back room of just Edwards and Isaiah Spiller, the Chargers decided it was time to sign another former Raven: J.K. Dobbins. Dobbins signed a one-year deal with the Chargers that will serve as a prove-it deal.

Dobbins has built up a reputation for being injury prone in his NFL career despite his career being relatively short. The second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft all of the 2021 season, played just eight games in 2022 and played just one game in 2023. He has exactly 100 carries in the last three years.

It is perfectly justified for Chargers fans to be cautious in getting overly excited for Dobbins. However, the new Chargers back is saying all the right things and is starting to reel fans back in. According to Dobbins himself, the injury-prone label that has been slapped on him will be a thing of the past after 2024 (h/t Kris Rhim, ESPN).

"You got the injury-prone [label] out there, but I think the storm is over with, and I think I'm going to take off now. There'll be no setbacks, and this injury-prone thing will be gone out the window."

J.K. Dobbins is ready to shed the injury-prone label with the Chargers

This might seem like a big ask but Chargers fans have seen players on the team shake injury-prone labels in the past. Derwin James is the first player who comes to mind as many thought that his entire career would be riddled with injuries after the 2019 and 2020 season.

James has suffered some minor injuries in the years since but he has stayed relatively healthy. Now, the injury-prone label that use to be slapped all over his name seems absolutely ludicrous. That could happen for Spiller as well.

Granted, running back is a bit different of a position than safety and it is never great when a running back suffers multiple injuries. That being said, Dobbins is still only 25 years old and only has 234 NFL carries to his name. He is as fresh as someone can be heading into his fifth year.

If Dobbins can stay true to his promise then it will be a massive boost for the Chargers' offense. Dobbins is a very productive back when healthy, averaging 5.8 yards per carry across his carry. If he can stay healthy, Dobbins would be the best pure runner the Chargers have had since the best version of Melvin Gordon.

There is risk involved no doubt, but there is a massive reward if Dobbins can get right for the Chargers this season. If so, with Edwards and Kimani Vidal also in the room, the Chargers could have one of the best rushing attacks in the entire sport.

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