J.K. Dobbins becomes 2nd former Ravens RB to reunite with OC Greg Roman on Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers have an identity in mind under new offensive coordinator Greg Roman. It apparently looks a lot like his previous offense with the Baltimore Ravens.

J.K. Dobbins became the second former Ravens running back, and fourth ex-member of the Ravens offense overall, to sign with the Chargers in free agency this offseason, the player announced Wednesday. ESPN's Adam Schefter subsequently reported it will be a one-year deal.

Dobbins is returning from a torn Achilles he sustained in Week 1 last season.

The Chargers signed Dobbins' former backfield mate Gus Edwards last month. They have also brought in center Bradley Bozeman and tight end Hayden Hurst, all of whom have spent multiple seasons in Baltimore.

Roman was one of the first hires by Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh, who previously worked with Roman at the San Francisco 49ers and Stanford. Roman has not been subtle about his desire to turn the Chargers, one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL last season, into a run-focused offense like he had with the Ravens (and Lamar Jackson).

One of the biggest changes will be the shift from former starting running back Austin Ekeler, one of the best receiving backs in the NFL, to an RB room led by Edwards and now Dobbins.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 08: Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards (35) and Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (27) look on  in action during a NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens on November 08, 2020 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz said last month Edwards would be the bell cow in the new Chargers offense, but the addition of Dobbins likely complicates that. When healthy, Dobbins has looked electric as a runner. Edwards had a career 4.9 yards per attempt and 57.4% success rate with the Ravens, while Dobbins posted 5.8 and 56.8% in the same offense.

Of course, "when healthy" has never been easy for Dobbins. The Ravens wanted him to be the starter alongside Jackson, but lost him to a torn ACL for the entire the 2021 season, another knee injury for half the 2022 season and a torn Achilles for all but one game in 2023.

The Chargers are now betting Dobbins will be able to contribute something in an offense similar to Baltimore.