The Ravens are already without David Ojabo for the next month, but his absence could be quite lengthy. The second-year edge rusher is in danger of missing the remainder of the season, head coach John Harbaugh indicated on Monday (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec).
Ojabo is already on injured reserve, a move which ensured he will be sidelined for at least one month. Ankle and knee injuries are the cause of his absence, which began midway through Week 3. Harbaugh said the former second-rounder “has some decisions to make” regarding the direction of his recovery.
An Achilles tear suffered during Michigan’s Pro Day hurt Ojabo’s draft stock and forced him to miss most of his rookie season. He was limited to a pair of regular season games at the end of the year, as well as Baltimore’s wild-card postseason loss. The 23-year-old posted one sack and added a forced fumble in limited action in 2022.
Expectations were high for his follow-up campaign, given his production in his only full season with the Wolverines. Ojabo totaled 11 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles while playing opposite eventual No. 2 pick Aidan Hutchinson on the edge. Translating that production to the pro game has proven to be challenging for Ojabo, though he has had limited opportunities to do so.
In two-plus contests this year, he recorded one sack and a pair of QB pressures while logging a 38% snap share. Ojabo’s PFF grade (which sat at an impressive 81.5 in limited action last season) dropped to 59, a notable step down and a reflection of his second year jump not taking place as anticipated to start the year. If he returns this season, Ojabo’s ability to make a larger statistical impact will be a key story to follow.
In the meantime, Baltimore will lean on an edge rushing unit which contains veterans added on one-year deals (Jadeveon Clowney and, more recently, Kyle Van Noy) as well as fourth-round rookie Tavius Robinson and former UDFA Jeremiah Moon. Tyus Bowser – who is currently on the NFI list, but is now eligible to be designated for return at any point – will certainly be welcomed upon return.
If Ojabo does indeed miss the remainder of the season, he will have been limited to just six games across two years while failing to establish a full-time starting role. The potential he has flashed in his brief action will keep expectations high when he next takes the field, but it will be interesting to see how many insurance-type moves the Ravens make along the edge by the time that takes place.