Obvious NY Jets target with Aaron Rodgers ties receives positive injury update

The Jets need a backup running back...

J.K. Dobbins
J.K. Dobbins / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The NY Jets have mostly stayed away from the obvious Aaron Rodgers connections this offseason — a welcomed change of pace after many of the so-called "Rodgers additions" from a year ago didn't exactly work out.

But just because they haven't signed any of them yet, doesn't mean they haven't shown interest. The Jets have reportedly been in contact with players such as David Bakhtiari, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Odell Beckham Jr. That suggests they're still open to players with Rodgers ties.

Perhaps that could open the door for the team to explore another under-the-radar Rodgers connection in free agency. We're talking about former Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported on Tuesday that Dobbins has officially been cleared for football activities after suffering a torn Achilles in Week 1 of last season. Dobbins looks "outstanding" according to his surgeon, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, and the former Ravens running back is expected to start meeting with teams.

His doctor's name should sound familiar to Jets fans, as that's the same world-renowned doctor who performed surgery on Rodgers following his Achilles injury. In fact, Rodgers and Dobbins spent much of the 2023 season rehabbing together in California. That makes him a logical target for the Jets.

Should the NY Jets take a chance on J.K. Dobbins in free agency?

The Jets are expected to be in the market for a veteran running back this offseason. Breece Hall has developed into one of the best running backs in the NFL, but the Jets are searching for a competent RB2 to handle work behind their star running back.

Dobbins is an intriguing albeit risky option. The former Ohio State star was a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he put together an outstanding rookie season, finishing with 805 yards and nine touchdowns on a superb 6.0 yards per carry.

Unfortunately, Dobbins' career following that year has been marred by injuries. Dobbins suffered a torn ACL in the final preseason game of the 2021 season, sidelining him for the entire year.

He played in just eight games in 2022, battling yet another knee injury. Dobbins returned healthy in 2023, only to tear his Achilles in the first game of the season. Although he's only 25 years old, the injuries have piled up.

Still, Dobbins fills a need on the Jets' roster and has close personal ties to their star quarterback — a connection that has been taken into account in the past.

There are probably more intriguing veteran names on the running back market such as Ezekiel Elliott and Rashaad Penny, but Dobbins makes some sense as a low-risk, high-reward contingency plan behind Hall.

Don't be surprised if the Jets make a call to one of Rodgers' newest friends.