Jason Pierre-Paul is “definitely” ready to debut for the third NFL team of his career, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. Pierre-Paul signed with the Ravens a little over a week ago after his second visit with the team this year. His presence has become a necessity as Baltimore, once again, finds itself getting bitten hard by the injury bug.
Pierre-Paul surely saw his best years come with the Giants, during the first eight seasons of his career, when he tallied 58.5 sacks and 87.0 tackles for loss in New York. Not only could he wreak havoc in the backfield, but Pierre-Paul had a nose for the football, as well, forcing seven fumbles and returning both his interceptions in a Giants uniform for touchdowns.
As an esteemed veteran, he signed with the Buccaneers at 29-years-old. He became an immediate contributor and, in his first three seasons in Tampa Bay, recorded 30.5 sacks and 32.0 tackles for loss. Pierre-Paul even earned a Pro Bowl bid in his third season with the team.
Last year, though, Pierre-Paul saw his production plummet. He finished 2021 with the second-fewest sacks of his career (2.5) and the fewest tackles for loss of his career (5.0). Pierre-Paul attributes the downturn in production to injuries to his shoulder. He reportedly tore his rotator cuff, biceps, and “a small muscle in his upper back” last year, limiting him for all but the first three weeks of the season.
“I basically got a whole new shoulder. I feel way totally better,” Pierre-Paul explained. “I did what I could do for the team, but not having two shoulders is a big thing. Can’t push, can’t grab, can’t snatch. But I can do all of that now.”
The Ravens are counting on it. Three Ravens outside linebackers already sit on injured reserve and second-round rookie pass rusher David Ojabo remains on the reserve/non-football injury list. With Justin Houston listed as doubtful going into the Bills game, according to Hensley, after suffering a groin injury in last weekend’s win over the Patriots, Baltimore was left with only second-year pass rusher Odafe Oweh to rush the quarterback. Enter Pierre-Paul, who will join Oweh as the only healthy outside linebackers on the roster.
The Ravens have plenty of experience finding pressure from other positions, as they blitz more than any other team in the NFL, but if Pierre-Paul can return to anywhere near his normal form at 33-years-old, the Ravens should have a formidable pass-rushing duo to corral Bills quarterback Josh Allen this Sunday at noon.