David Ojabo

AFC Rumors: Ravens, Collins, Bengals, Henry

Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell missed Sunday’sgame against the Falcons as he continues to deal with a knee injury suffered a week prior in the team’s loss to Cleveland, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Yesterday’s absence was only his second of the season, an impressive showing for the 36-year-old who has showed a consistent sturdiness for his entire career.

The wording of Fowler’s tweet was a bit unclear. He stated that “Campbell could miss some time” due to the injury, which could be interpreted as a potential extended absence for the defensive leader. Fowler’s tweet, which came earlier this week, also questioned the status of this week’s game against the Falcons, indicating that perhaps the uncertainty of “could miss some time” was not pointed towards how much time he may miss but if he would miss time at all. Regardless, Campbell sat out Saturday’s game and, after the team clinched a playoff spot with a win, he may be able to take a little extra time to rest up for a postseason run.

The team also played without rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo yesterday. Nine months after a torn Achilles injury, Ojabo finally made his NFL debut against the Browns last week, playing one defensive snap and four special teams snaps. He wasn’t listed on the team’s injury report, but whatever Ojabo is dealing with, he returned back to the inactive list this week.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the AFC, starting with two division rival players in Cincinatti:

  • Bengals tackle La’el Collins left Saturday’s win over the Patriots with a knee injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Reportedly, initial concerns were about an ACL injury, but the ligament is believed to be intact. The new understanding is that Collins’ kneecap shifted out and then back into place, resulting in the significant pain that required him to leave the game. More tests will follow to determine the severity of Collins’ knee injury.
  • Bengals pass rusher Trey Hendrickson started yesterday for the Cincinnati defense despite his broken wrist and likely plans to continue to start for the remainder of the season, according to Paul Dehner of The Athletic. Hendrickson reportedly confirmed that his wrist is broken but explained that “multiple doctors” told him that the injury cannot worsen. He has the ability to play through the injury with no need of a club; he will have full hand and finger mobility. As long as Hendrickson can manage and play through the pain, he will be able to continue contributing to the AFC North leaders.
  • Patriots tight end Hunter Henry left Saturday’s loss with a knee injury after only one drive, according to the team’s official Twitter account. Henry was unable to contribute to the box score before leaving. Henry, who has dealt with multiple knee injuries over his career, is considered day-to-day and will undergo further tests this week. If Henry misses any time, veteran tight end Jonnu Smith would be the next man in line for snaps. Unfortunately, Smith exited yesterday’s game with a concussion, so he, too, will have some work to do to play next week. If neither player can go when the team hosts the Dolphins next week, New England may have to turn to practice squad receiver Scotty Washington who is sometimes listed at tight end, as well.

AFC North Rumors: Ojabo, Cooper, Watson, Jackson

The Ravens‘ pass rush could receive a huge boost today as rookie second-round pick David Ojabo is reportedly set to make his NFL debut, according to Rich Eisen of NFL Network. The Score’s Jordan Schultz first reported Ojabo would be good to go this week.

Ojabo was a first-round talent who dropped to the second round of the draft when he suffered a torn Achilles while performing in his pro day at Michigan. Playing across from No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson, Ojabo was impressive in his own right, nearly matching Hutchinson blow-for-blow with 11 sacks and 12 tackles for loss to Hutchinson’s 14 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss.

The Ravens took the value pick, knowing that Ojabo likely wouldn’t debut for the team until late in the year and hoping it would help gear up the defense for a playoff run. The team designated Ojabo to return from the reserve/non-football injury list at the same time as they designated outside linebacker Tyus Bowser to return from the reserve/physically unable to perform list in mid-October. Both players were officially activated from their respective lists on November 1.

Both moves were announced shortly after Baltimore acquired Roquan Smith in a trade with the Bears. Bowser and Smith have already debuted for the Ravens this season, and the additions have been significant. Adding Ojabo to the mix give the Ravens a linebacking corps that consists of Smith, Patrick Queen, Bowser, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Houston, Odafe Oweh, and Ojabo, among others. A unit that appeared to be a weakness heading into the season is now overloaded with talent.

Here are a few other rumors concerning the two teams in the AFC North that will face off later today:

  • Browns veteran wide receiver Amari Cooper has reportedly been dealing with a core muscle injury. The team’s top receiver has been playing through the injury, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, and hasn’t considered the prospect of potential surgery in the offseason. Losing Cooper would be detrimental for Cleveland. Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones account for 80% of the catches and nearly 86% of the receiving yards by Browns receivers. Cleveland wideouts have caught eight total touchdowns this season; Cooper has accounted for seven of them. Cooper has struggled to find chemistry so far this year with new starting quarterback Deshaun Watson. In two games with Watson behind center, Cooper has six catches for 82 yards.
  • Speaking of the Browns’ new starting passer, Watson has continued his mandatory treatment program, despite his 11-game suspension coming to an end. A report two weeks ago detailed that sources have claimed Watson has shown “signs of progress” during the program, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The program is confidential, so the laymen are not privy to the details of his treatment. A source with knowledge of the program told Schefter, “(Watson)’s been progressing well and he wants to continue with it.” The team, league, and Players Association feel it’s helping him, and he’ll continue treatment until it’s been determined that it’s no longer needed, which, reportedly, “could take a while.”
  • Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will miss his second straight game with a PCL sprain today, allowing backup quarterback Tyler Huntley to make his second consecutive start. The team is hopeful, though, that Jackson will be back at practice this week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Ravens remain hopeful that he may even play on Christmas Eve against the Falcons.
  • The Ravens will lose a staffer at the end of the year as defensive assistant Ryan Osborn is set to become the defensive coordinator at Charlotte at the conclusion of the season. Osborn works closely with the outside linebackers and defensive linemen for Baltimore. He held a similar role last year as a defensive analyst at the University of Michigan, before following defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to Baltimore. Osborn was a key proponent in helping Hutchinson and Ojabo get drafted as highly as they were and has done an admirable job of piecing together a strong pass rush for a Ravens team that has dealt with injuries at the position.

Ravens Activate Tyus Bowser, David Ojabo

NOVEMBER 1: As the team confirmed on Tuesday, both Bowser and Ojabo have been officially activated, which will provide a significant boost to the team’s edge rush as early as Week 9. The Ravens now have five activations remaining in 2022.

OCTOBER 31: The Ravens added a major piece to their defense today when they acquired linebacker Roquan Smith from the Bears. Shortly after pulling off the trade, John Harbaugh revealed that the team will also be activating two key defenders from the reserve list. Linebackers Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo will be activated this week, Harbaugh told reporters (via the team’s website). Bowser will be activated from the reserve/PUP list while Ojabo will be activated off the reserve/NFI list.

[RELATED: Ravens To Acquire Roquan Smith From Bears]

Bowser is expected to be ready to go and should make his first appearance of the 2022 season on Monday against the Saints. Ojabo may need a bit more time, but the Ravens have no choice but to activate him from NFI after designating the linebacker for return three weeks ago.

Bowser suffered a torn Achilles during the 2021 season finale. The former second-round pick had a breakout campaign last year, leading the Ravens with seven sacks while also contributing 59 tackles and 15 QB hits. He only started two games through his first four seasons in the NFL, collecting 10.5 sacks in 63 games.

Ojabo was a projected first-round pick before suffering a torn Achilles during his Pro Day. The injury didn’t force the Michigan product to fall too far down the draft board, with Baltimore scooping him up with the 45th pick. The rookie’s familiarity with defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald (dating back to their time at Michigan) should help reduce some of the NFL growing pains, but Harbuagh cautioned that Ojabo will have to get his feet wet at practice before he’s thrown into the fire.

“We’ll see where he’s at with it in terms of being ready,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a rookie, but he would also be possible as far as playing in the game.

“We’ve got to get him out there to practice more and see what he looks like. He hasn’t really been in any team period yet. We’ve got to take a look at the team period, look at how much he knows of the defense.”

In addition to Smith, the Ravens will be adding three linebackers to an already-formidable linebackers room. Patrick Queen, Josh Bynes, and Malik Harrison have received a lot of run at the position to begin the season.

Ravens Designate OLBs Tyus Bowser, David Ojabo For Return

12:43pm: Both Bowser and Ojabo have officially been designated for return. Each suited up for practice Wednesday, marking a good sign about the edge defenders’ near-future availability.

9:10am: The Ravens are moving closer to having their outside linebacker contingent at full strength. Both Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo are expected to practice this week, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets.

Both players are finishing off their recoveries from Achilles tears. Bowser sustained his injury in January, while Ojabo went down in March while preparing for the draft. Bowser is expected to return to practice Wednesday, while Zrebiec adds the Ravens anticipate their second-round pick suiting up for work later this week. Ojabo could return as soon as today. Bowser resides on the Ravens’ reserve/PUP list; Ojabo is on their reserve/NFI list.

Each player practicing this week opens a 21-day activation clock. Baltimore must activate these defenders within three weeks of each’s first practice. The Ravens landed on the wrong side of this equation recently, with Derek Wolfe reverting to season-ending IR after his activation window closed without a move onto the 53-man roster last season. But Bowser and Ojabo’s timetables have not changed this year. Each has been expected to return, with Bowser perhaps a bit ahead of Ojabo. That would make sense, given the timing of each’s injury. Ojabo returning to practice this week puts him in position to beat an initial timetable, one that had the first-round-level talent pegged to debut during the season’s second half.

These injuries have forced the Ravens to be active at the edge rusher position. They re-signed Justin Houston this offseason and added Jason Pierre-Paul early during the regular season. Houston has not played since suffering a groin injury in Week 3, leading to extensive JPP workloads despite his recent Baltimore debut. Pierre-Paul played well in Baltimore’s Week 6 win over Cincinnati, sacking Joe Burrow once and batting down two of his passes.

Bowser, who re-signed with the Ravens on a four-year deal worth $22MM in 2021, and Ojabo debuting soon would form a suddenly deep rotation — one also featuring 2021 first-round pick Odafe Oweh — for a Ravens team that has needed to make some adjustments at this position. Baltimore has used off-ball ‘backer Malik Harrison on the edge at points.

Latest On Ravens’ Pass Rushing Situation

The Ravens signed veteran edge defender Jason Pierre-Paul earlier this week, and that transaction was consummated in order to offer an immediate boost to the team’s pass rushing contingent. It does not necessarily mean that anything has changed with respect to the prognoses of Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo.

Per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Baltimore is hopeful that Bowser will be on the field shortly after he is eligible to return from the PUP list (Twitter link). Bowser, who signed a four-year, $22MM contract in March 2021, rewarded the Ravens’ faith in him with a season in which he started all 17 games and registered career-highs in total tackles (59), sacks (seven), tackles for loss (eight), quarterback hits (15), and forced fumbles (two). Unfortunately, he suffered an Achilles tear in the 2021 finale and was placed on the reserve/PUP list in August, thereby guaranteeing that he would miss at least the first four games of the 2022 season.

Bowser does not necessarily excel in any one area, but he is useful against the run, in coverage, and as a pass rusher. His absence became even more significant when the Ravens lost Steven Means to an Achilles tear of his own last week, and Zrebiec’s report suggests that Bowser’s recovery is progressing more or less as expected.

Ojabo, meanwhile, was a first-round talent who fell to the second round of the 2022 draft due to (what else?) an Achilles tear during his Pro Day. GM Eric DeCosta chose to play the long game when he selected Ojabo, who was always expected to miss most, if not all, of his first season in the NFL. Per Zrebiec, the Ravens remain optimistic that the Michigan product can return in the second half of the season.

The Bowser injury and the dearth of proven pass rush talent on the roster meant that many free agent and collegiate edge defenders were connected to the Ravens this offseason (including Pierre-Paul, who first visited the team back in June). However, aside from the Ojabo selection and signing players like Means and Vince Biegel — who, almost predictably, tore his Achilles this summer — Baltimore did very little of note to address its needs in that regard.

The club did bring back Justin Houston, and it should be noted that the tragic death of Jaylon Ferguson also played a role in the team’s current lack of edge depth. The hope is that 2021 first-rounder Odafe Oweh, Houston, and Pierre-Paul can hold down the fort until Bowser and Ojabo are ready to return, though Oweh has been mostly invisible during the first two games of the season. There is plenty of time for him to get on track, but Baltimore was clearly relying on a second-year breakout from him, and he has yet to show signs of such an emergence.

Luckily, Pierre-Paul will not need much of a ramp-up period, as Zrebeic tweets. JPP will not be on the field for Sunday’s matchup with the Patriots, but he is in line to make his Baltimore debut during the club’s Week 4 contest against the Bills.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BengalsBrowns, Ravens and Steelers moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Baltimore Ravens




Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Cincinnati Bengals




Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Cleveland Browns



Signed to practice squad:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ravens Notes: Biegel, Linderbaum, Ojabo, Roster Bubble

Vince Biegel‘s season has ended before it even started. The Ravens linebacker suffered a torn Achilles on Thursday and will miss the 2022 season, per the team’s website.

The linebacker has bounced around the NFL during his four years in the league, spending time with the Packers, Saints, and Dolphins. Following a 2020 season where he compiled 59 tackles and 2.5 sacks in a career-high 15 games (10 starts) with the Dolphins, he was limited to only two tackles in five contests with Miami in 2021. He caught on with the Ravens this offseason, and according to Ryan Mink of the team website, Biegel had made a strong impression during the first few days of camp.

“Vince was fighting to make the team,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He would have had a great chance to make it, because he’s just a solid, tough, talented guy who does everything exactly right as hard as he can.”

The Ravens were already eyeing a depleted linebackers depth chart with Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo sidelined. The team’s current options consist of Odafe Oweh, Justin Houston, Daelin Hayes, Steven Means, and a handful of rookies.

More notes out of Baltimore:

  • Fortunately, there was some good news on the Ravens’ injury front. While first-round rookie center Tyler Linderbaum limped off the field during practice, an X-ray confirmed he avoided a major injury. “He’s going to be fine,” Harbaugh said (via Mink). “Didn’t get stepped on, kind of just … It’s a physical drill there, and [he] came up a little sore. They’ve looked at it, X-rayed it. They’ll do an MRI on it to make sure, but all indications are it’s nothing serious at all.” Beside the rookie, the Ravens have veteran Patrick Mekari to step in at center.
  • We previously heard that Ojabo’s brief holdout was an attempt to get more guaranteed money in the third year of his rookie contract. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), the rookie ended up getting $700K of that 2024 base salary guaranteed. As our own Ely Allen previously pointed out, the player selected just before Ojabo at 44th overall is John Metchie III, who received $800,000 (55.61%) of his third year guaranteed. The pick immediately after Ojabo at 46th overall is Joshua Paschal, whose guaranteed third-year money dropped dramatically to $275,000 (22.02%).
  • Guard Ben Powers could find himself on the trade block depending on the status of Ben Cleveland and Tyre Phillips, writes Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. Powers has 19 career starts, so he’d surely appeal to a squad seeking some guard depth. Meanwhile, Zrebiec writes that running back Mike Davis could be fighting with Tyler Badie and Justice Hill for two open roster spots. The veteran was brought in this offseason to provide some depth while J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards return to full health, but he may not be needed if the duo is ready for the start of the season.
  • In a stock report of Baltimore’s minicamp, Zrebiec provides a handful of interesting tidbits related to the Ravens. Fourth-round rookie Isaiah Likely will find himself behind Mark Andrews on the depth chart, but he also “seems close to certain to have a notable Week 1 role with the Ravens.” Meanwhile, versatile defensive back Brandon Stephens has been preparing to play cornerback after starting 11 games at safety last season.
  • The Ravens’ other fourth-round rookie tight end, Charlie Kolar, had sports hernia surgery earlier this week, per Zrebiec. “It’s a thing that was lingering from college,” Harbaugh said. “He actually had a sports hernia from college, had a surgery. They’re going to redo that one as well. We’ll get it cleaned up now. I think he felt like he could manage it, but it’s gotten to the point where it needs to be fixed.”

Ravens Sign Second-Round LB David Ojabo

The Ravens have finally wrapped up their draft class. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (on Twitter) that Baltimore has inked linebacker David Ojabo to his rookie pact. Ojabo is the last 2022 draft pick to sign his rookie contract.

[RELATED: Info On David Ojabo’s Holdout]

After sitting out his entire freshman year and collecting one tackle in six games during his sophomore campaign, the Michigan product had a breakout season in 2022. In 13 games, Ojabo compiled 35 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks. The linebacker suffered a torn Achilles during his Pro Day, but despite the injury, the Ravens still selected him in the second round (No. 45) of the 2022 draft.

Ojabo remained unsigned through the start of training camp, forcing him to stage a holdout as he pursued guaranteed money on the third year of his contract. It will be interesting to see who prevailed in that stare down, but today’s signing will allow the Ravens to proceed with other transactions. Since the linebacker is likely to be sidelined for most (if not all) of his rookie season, he’ll likely be placed on Baltimore’s non-football injury list in the coming days.

The Ravens now have their entire 2022 draft class under contract:

Round 1: No. 14 Kyle Hamilton, S (Notre Dame) (signed)
Round 1: No. 25 (from Bills) Tyler Linderbaum, C (Iowa) (signed)
Round 2: No. 45 David Ojabo, OLB (Michigan) (signed)
Round 3: No. 76 Travis Jones, NT (Connecticut) (signed)
Round 4: No. 110 (from Giants) Daniel Faalele, OT (Minnesota) (signed)
Round 4: No. 119 Jayln Armour-Davis, CB (Alabama) (signed)
Round 4: No. 128 (from Cardinals) Charlie Kolar, TE (Iowa State) (signed)
Round 4: No. 130 (from Bills) Jordan Stout, P (Penn State) (signed)
Round 4: No. 139 Isaiah Likely, TE (Coastal Carolina) (signed)
Round 4: No. 141 Damarion Williams, CB (Houston) (signed)
Round 6: No. 196 (from Dolphins) Tyler Badie, RB (Missouri) (signed)

Ravens OLB David Ojabo Last Unsigned Rookie

The Ravens are reportedly the only team in the NFL who have yet to wrap up their rookie draft class signings. The lone holdout, Michigan outside linebacker David Ojabo, is the last unsigned rookie selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, with the contract disagreement surrounding Ojabo’s third-year guarantee percentage, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. 

This is a bit of a new issue as, last year, Ojabo’s draft slot didn’t receive any third-year guarantee, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN. This year has seen a difference of approach in the second round, though. The first five picks of the second round this year have received contracts that fully guaranteed the second and third years of their rookie deals. The first three picks of the second round even had some of the fourth year of their contracts guaranteed, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. After those first five picks, the next ten picks (excluding Ojabo) have the second year of their rookie deals guaranteed with a percentage of their third year guaranteed.

There are two factors of the situation that make it difficult for Ojabo and the Ravens to negotiate. The first is that, while picks 38-47 of the draft all have guaranteed third-year money, there is a huge drop off in the guaranteed amount for the pick before Ojabo and the pick after Ojabo. The player selected just before Ojabo at 44th overall is John Metchie III, who received $800,000 (55.61%) of his third year guaranteed, following the descending trend from the 38th pick, Arnold Ebiketie ($1.36MM), down to the 43rd pick, Wan’Dale Robinson ($876,508). The pick immediately after Ojabo at 46th overall is Joshua Paschal, whose guaranteed third-year money dropped dramatically to $275,000 (22.02%).

The extreme contrast from Metchie to Paschal gives far too much wiggle room for Baltimore and Ojabo to disagree on. Ojabo, likely, will want guaranteed third-year money closer to what Metchie is receiving based on being picked just after him. The Ravens’ argument will point to the fact that he plays the same position as Paschal, and it will probably hinge on the second factor that makes it a difficult negotiation, as well: Ojabo’s injury.

Ojabo was trending towards being a first-round pick for much of the pre-draft process before tearing his Achilles tendon at Michigan’s Pro Day. The severity and timing of the injury make it unlikely that Ojabo will be able to make much of an impact as a rookie. Achilles injuries have affected long-term status less and less in the NFL lately, but it can still be a bargaining chip for Baltimore in terms of how much money they choose to guarantee. Ojabo can also try to flip it by pointing out what his draft stock would’ve been without injury.

At this point, it’s hard to make any predictions, but it’s pretty clear where the separation is coming from. The Ravens no doubt want to come to terms with Ojabo, who will eventually be meeting last year’s first round pick, Odafe Oweh, at the quarterback for years to come. But, after being bitten hard by the injury bug last year, it’s easy to see why Baltimore may be uneasy to guarantee payment to a player currently recovering from a serious injury. It will certainly be interesting to see how the situation is resolved.

Latest On Ravens’ Edge Rush Pursuit

One of the position groups still surrounded by question marks for the Ravens is that of edge rusher. The team has been connected to a number of veterans this offseason, but little progress has been made lately on any noteworthy additions. 

Arguably the most logical move available is a reunion with Justin Houston. The 33-year-old spent last season with the team, starting all 15 contests he appeared in. He totalled 4.5 sacks and 17 QB hits, providing consistency to an otherwise inexperienced unit. The Ravens have yet to re-sign him, but they placed the rarely-used UFA tender on him. That leaves Houston free to sign with another team until July 22, at which point Baltimore will hold exclusive negotiating rights; a deal on the tender would pay him slightly more than the $2.1MM he made in 2021.

As that deadline approaches, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes that the situation between the two sides remains “in a holding pattern” (subscription required). That could lead to a further opportunity for fellow veteran Jason Pierre-Paul to be brought into the fold. The two-time Super Bowl winner visited the Ravens last month, as he looks to join a contender on the open market once again. He had a down season in 2021 with only 2.5 sacks, but is one year removed from his third Pro Bowl campaign.

At present, the Ravens are led in the pass-rush department by Tyus Bowser, whose Week 1 availability remains in doubt due to the torn Achilles he suffered at the end of last season. The same injury will delay second round rookie David Ojabo‘s NFL debut for a significant period of time. That leaves 2021 draftees Odafe Oweh and Daelin Hayes in line for sizeable roles, with recent signing Steven Means available as depth.

With the aforementioned injury concerns, as well as, unfortunately, a roster spot open after the death of Jaylon Ferguson, Zrebiec “wouldn’t rule out” the possibility of both Houston and Pierre-Paul playing in Baltimore this season. The team is severely lacking in cap space right now, so adding both would be difficult from a financial standpoint; however, the signing of one could be the move most likely to happen between now and training camp.