The Baltimore Ravens are getting along just fine at outside linebacker, but there are still two capable edge-rushers on the shelf. Second-year pro David Ojabo and veteran Tyus Bowser are out, but head coach John Harbaugh has revealed potential timeframes for both to return.
Harbaugh spoke to reporters on Monday, November 27 and said there’s optimism Ojabo will be “fine by training camp” after undergoing surgery “last week,” per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Ojabo has been dealing with a torn ACL suffered against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3. The ailment landed him on injured reserve and continued a torrid time for the second-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
Bowser, meanwhile, hasn’t played all season. The 28-year-old has been dealing with a knee problem, but Harbaugh says when “Bowser’s knee calms down, he’ll be out there,” per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
Bowser returning during this campaign would boost an already loaded pass rush. Yet, this isn’t the first time this year Harbaugh has talked up a potential return for the Ravens’ 2021 sack leader, only to be left waiting.
David Ojabo Needs Change of Luck
He’s endured a rocky time since being drafted, so Ojabo could use a change of luck to get back onto the field and finally make an impact for the Ravens. He had precious little chance to do either as a rookie after tearing his Achilles at Michigan’s pro day.
The 23-year-old did manage to log his first sack in the pros when he returned in Week 18. Ojabo appeared primed for a breakout second season when he began the 2023 campaign with this sack-forced fumble against the Houston Texans.
The play showcased why the Ravens used premium draft capital to select Ojabo. He’s a size and speed mismatch on the edge, a 6-foot-4, 265-pounder with the agility and quickness to take over games.
Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald have been patient waiting for Ojabo to put it all together. Their patience will need to be extended, but it could be rewarded big time in 2024.
Ojabo will have the chance to join a supporting cast defined by young talent and veteran savvy. The latter quality will be even stronger if Bowser is still in the mix.
John Harbaugh’s Played Waiting Game With Tyus Bowser
Harbaugh is getting used to waiting on Bowser. Back in October, the head coach deemed the player “in the realm of possibly practicing,” per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
Bowser didn’t make it back then, but he’s upbeat about his chances of playing again this season. That’s what he told Fox Baltimore’s Morgan Adsit: “There’s still plenty of games left, and my goal is to get back on the field.”
No. 54 can still be an asset if he gets up to full strength soon. Boswer’s a capable pass-rusher who’s versatile enough to attack the pocket from multiple spots.
Those qualities make him perfect for Macdonald’s creative schemes, but the play-caller has no shortage of skilled edge-rushers. The Ravens are getting solid contributions from Jadeveon Clowney, Kyle Van Noy and Odafe Oweh.
Clowney is second on the team with 7.5 sacks, while Van Noy is just behind him with six. Oweh is making something of a leap during his third year, logging four sacks in five games before Week 12, per Ryan Mink of Ravens.com.
Oweh’s rapid rise heaps the pressure on Ojabo to get healthy and quickly realise his full potential. Similarly, the way Clowney and Van Noy are playing puts an experienced player like Bowser in danger of losing his spot.
Baltimore’s defense is already stacked on the edges, but the unit will be downright scary once Bowser and Ojabo join the rotation.