The Baltimore Ravens hosted veteran outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell for a tryout on Monday, per the NFL’s official transaction report for September 5, indicating the team is still looking to add some edge-rushing depth.
Fackrell spent the preseason with the Las Vegas Raiders, but was moved to injured reserve early in training camp and released on August 25. The Ravens have one remaining spot on their practice squad, one that will likely be filled by an outside linebacker given the lack of depth at the position.
Tyus Bowser will miss at least the first four weeks as he comes back from last season’s Achilles tear, the same injury from which second-round pick David Ojabo is recovering. Free agent signing Vince Biegel impressed in training camp and appeared poised to make the team before an Achilles injury of his own.
The Ravens then signed ex-Giant Trent Harris to compete for a roster spot, but he went down during one of his first practices in Baltimore. Even 2021 fifth-round pick Daelin Hayes was placed on season-ending injured reserve after injuries limited him to just one appearance as a rookie.
When the preseason dust settled, only two outside linebackers – Justin Houston and Odafe Oweh – made the Ravens’ 53-man roster, with veteran Steven Means and undrafted rookie Jeremiah Moon remaining on the practice squad.
Fackrell Would Provide Depth
The Ravens are likely looking for another experienced edge-rusher to activate from the practice squad early in the season. Fackrell, a six-year veteran with 23.5 career sacks, is certainly not a marquee signing, but he’d provide serviceable depth until Bowser and Ojabo make their debuts.
The 2016 third round pick spent the first four years of his career with the Green Bay Packers, recording 10.5 sacks in his third season but just 6.0 sacks in the other three. Fackrell had seven sacks across 25 appearances for the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Chargers over the last two years.
Those are fairly lackluster statistics, but Fackrell’s 14.1% pass rush win rate in 2021 was just behind that of Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh and Justin Houston, per Pro Football Focus.
Fackrell earned solid coverage grades from PFF in Green Bay, so he could be a depth SAM linebacker with Bowser and Hayes out. Unsurprisingly for a potential Ravens linebacker, Fackrell also has plenty of special teams experience, with over 1,000 career snaps under his belt.
The exact details of the preseason injury that led to Fackrell’s release were never disclosed, and the Ravens need depth right away, so they’ll need to do their medical due diligence before making a signing.
Ravens Work Out 2 Other LBs
Along with Fackrell, the worked out former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Chris Garrett on Monday. The 2021 seventh-rounder made just one appearance as a rookie, but still finished the season with a Super Bowl ring. Garrett only played in one game during the 2022 preseason and didn’t make the Rams’ regular-season roster.
Baltimore then hosted former Patriots undrafted linebacker Rashod Berry for a tryout on Tuesday. Berry played tight end at Ohio State University but transitioned to outside linebacker in the NFL, where he has primarily featured on special teams.
The Ravens could sign either player to their practice squad instead of Fackrell if he doesn’t pass a physical, but neither would be an instant contributor to Baltimore’s defense.