Tyus Bowser

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.

Ravens Notes: Dobbins, Jones, OLBs

Earlier this month, the Ravens got their top RB back on the practice field when they activated J.K. Dobbins. It was a welcomed sign for the team, after the former second-rounder missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL.

Dobbins is still not a lock to suit up in Week 1 as he continues to recover from the injury, however. As a result, he “won’t get a full workload” immediately upon his return, notes ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. The Ohio State product took over the lead role midway through his rookie season, averaging six yards per carry and scoring nine total touchdowns. Those figures led to major expectations last season, but his year-long absence (along with that of backup Gus Edwards, who will also miss at least the first month of the 2022 season) dealt a major blow to Baltimore’s run game.

The Ravens, unsurprisingly, will ease Dobbins back into lead-back duties. Given that, and Edwards’ ongoing recovery, the team will turn to a combination of veteran signing Mike Davis and, in all likelihood, sixth-round rookie Tyler Badie in support roles in the backfield.

Here are some other notes from Charm City:

  • Dobbins isn’t the only promising young player whose health status the team is watching carefully. Rookie defensive lineman Travis Jones is dealing with a sprained knee which should keep him sidelined for three to five weeks, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). The third-rounder had an impressive training camp and preseason, and will be in line for at least a rotational role right way. The chances of his debut coming in Week 1 are greatly lessened by this news, though, so the Ravens will lean more heavily on starter Michael Pierce in the middle of the d-line.
  • The Ravens have been named as a potential landing spot for a veteran edge signing throughout the offseason, given the team’s relative lack of moves at the position. Especially considering the fact that projected starter Tyus Bowser was placed on the reserve/PUP list last week (guaranteeing that he will miss the first four weeks of the season), the team is thin at the position until he and/or second-round rookie David Ojabo recover from their respective Achilles tears. As such, a pass rush addition of some kind should be expected, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Athletic (subscription required). Jason Pierre-Paul, who visited the team earlier this offseason, tops the list of remaining free agents; plenty of other names are due to become available as well during final roster cuts.
  • In that same piece, Zrebiec also notes that wideout Demarcus Robinson‘s deal, signed last week, includes nearly $900K in guaranteed money. That should help ensure he remains on the roster, something he wasn’t able to do with the Raiders. The veteran had four catches for 135 yards and a touchdown during the team’s preseason finale, and figures to play a notable role in their receiver rotation.
  • Safety Tony Jefferson could find himself on the roster bubble tomorrow, but not for a lack of effort to return to his previous form. The 30-year-old suffered a knee injury in 2019 which cost him his starting spot; he underwent a total of four surgeries to repair the damage, Zrebiec details. Jefferson understandably considered retirement during the process, but has now recovered to the point where he came back to Baltimore last season and could carve out a role on the 2022 squad as well.

Ravens Activate LT Ronnie Stanley

The Ravens are in line to have their top left tackle available to start the season. The team announced on Friday that they have activated Ronnie Stanley from the PUP list. 

The news is encouraging for Stanley, who has played just one game since October 2020. The 28-year-old underwent a third ankle surgery not long after his 2021 Week 1 appearance, the only one of the campaign. Recovery from the lingering issues associated with the initial injury he suffered has been slow-moving and met with a great deal of uncertainty.

Nevertheless, the Notre Dame alum was expected to be back in time for Week 1 of the regular season as far back as this spring’s draft. A return to full health would be a massive boost to the Ravens’ offense, given the All-Pro’s abilities in pass protection in particular. Stanley ranks fourth amongst left tackles at an average of $19.75MM per year, so being able to play up to that figure would also be significant for the team from a financial standpoint.

The news isn’t all positive on the injury front, however. The Ravens also announced that outside linebacker Tyus Bowser has been placed on the reserve/PUP list, meaning that he will miss at least the first four weeks of the season. The team’s top pass rusher suffered a torn Achilles in the regular season finale, putting his fall availability in doubt. The 27-year-old posted a career-high seven sacks last year, and was projected to start alongside 2021 first-rounder Odafe Oweh.

Bowser’s absence, along with that of second-round rookie David Ojabo, who suffered the same injury during his Pro Day, leaves the Ravens thin in the edge department. Oweh and veteran Justin Houston are now likely to start, but an addition – something which has long been speculated regardless of Bowser’s status – would come as little surprise at this point.

Ravens Place Six Players On PUP List

The Ravens’ 2021 season was derailed by injuries, and the team is still feeling the effects of it as training camp opens up. The team announced on Friday that six players have been placed on the active/PUP list. 

On offense, left tackle Ronnie Stanley is among the players listed. The former All-Pro has played in just one game since October of 2020 due to multiple ankle surgeries. The team has remained optimistic that, unlike last season, a more cautious offseason approach can keep him on the field permanently once the regular season begins. Baltimore has several options to replace him if he remains sidelined, including veteran Ja’Wuan James – himself no stranger to injury problems.

Not surprisingly, running back J.K. Dobbins is also on the list. It was reported earlier this week that the 23-year-old might not be fully recovered from his ACL tear in time for the regular season opener. The progress of his rehab will be worth watching closely during camp, as is the case for fellow back Gus Edwards. He, like Dobbins, missed the 2021 season in its entirety, putting his September availability in question. Free agent signing Mike Davis and sixth-round rookie Tyler Badie could be in line for significant reps in camp.

Two key defenders are on the list as well. Cornerback Marcus Peters was named as a PUP candidate earlier this month, as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered in the preseason. His return would be welcomed by the Ravens, who struggled mightily against the pass in 2021 and have a new-look CB room. The other member of the secondary on the list is safety Ar’Darius Washington, a former UDFA in contention for a backup role.

Finally, outside linebacker Tyus Bowser represents another unsurprising name on the list. The Ravens jack-of-all-trades edge rusher suffered a torn Achilles in the regular season finale, leaving his Week 1 availability in doubt throughout the offseason. With second-rounder David Ojabo dealing with the same ailment, Bowsers’ September health will be a key talking point in the build-up to the season.

Any of the above players can be activated at any time, though the chances of that happening in the near future is likely lower than that of many other PUP players previously announced, given the severity of many of these injuries.

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.

Ravens Notes: Bowser, Stanley, Washington, Linebackers

Baltimore’s 2021 NFL season was mired with injuries that would lead key players to be absent for extended periods, including many that missed all or the majority of the year. The Ravens aren’t known for giving out too much information on injuries over the years, but The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec was able to provide an update on some of Baltimore’s rehabbing players.

Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser signed a four-year contract to stay with the Ravens after the 2020 season and rewarded Baltimore with his best season as a pro to date. Bowser started every game of the year for the first time in his career and tallied career-highs in total tackles (59), sacks (7.0), tackles for loss (8.0), quarterback hits (15), and forced fumbles (2) just a year after recording three interceptions. The season ended on a sour note for Bowser, though, when he tore his Achilles tendon during the Ravens’ season finale against the Steelers.

As for a return, it was an extremely positive sign when Bowser came into the team’s offseason workouts without a boot or a limp only three months after surgery. Historically, Achilles tears take from nine to twelve months to come back from, but, recently, the Rams saw running back Cam Akers return to the field after only five and a half months of recovery. Baltimore, themselves, saw former star linebacker Terrell Suggs return to play only five months after surgery to repair his Achilles. The season opener would mark about eight months from Bowser’s surgery. Head coach John Harbaugh was quoted back in January saying, “I think Tyus will be back for the start of the season. I think Tyus will be back for training camp. That’s my prediction. That’s my timeline, so I’m going to stick with that.”

Here are a couple more notes from last year’s last-place team in the AFC North:

  • On October 30, 2020, the Ravens made offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL with a five-year, $98.75MM extension. He was carted off the field with a season-ending injury two days later and has played in one game since. Baltimore is dying to see dividends from the historic contract they gave to Stanley, a deal that sent Orlando Brown packing in search of a team that would let him start at left tackle. General manager Eric DeCosta has admitted that he relied too much on having Stanley return to full strength last year when Stanley felt he was “rushed back…in order to play Week 1.” They’re being far more cautious in their optimism this time around as the team is being much more careful with the expectations being set on the 28-year-old. Stanley has told team officials that his ankle recovery is progressing more quickly than last offseason, but Harbaugh’s quote on Stanley two weeks ago reflected more of the cautiousness in their optimism as he said, “Ronnie’s mission right now would be to get in the best shape of his life and get ready to play football.”
  • Like the rest of the league, Baltimore is in the process of figuring out who will make the cut for the final roster come late-August. One of the positions that provides a bit of interest for the Ravens is on the defensive line, as Zrebiec of The Athletic explained in a roster-projection earlier this week. With the return of Calais Campbell, Michael Pierce, and Brent Urban in free agency, as well as the draft-addition of Travis Jones, Zrebiec broached the situation of third-year defensive tackle Broderick Washington. Washington saw his role increase a bit in year-two of NFL play last year due to injuries to Campbell, Brandon Williams, and Derek Wolfe. Despite his increased experience, Zrebiec claims that Washington isn’t a lock to make the roster. The Ravens do like what they’ve seen from Washington, though, and believe he is “an ascending player,” so he’s at least trending in the right direction in terms of roster decisions.
  • Perhaps the weakest position on the Ravens’ roster is the linebacker group. The team returns Patrick Queen, Josh Bynes, Malik Harrison, and Kristian Welch. Welch is mostly a special teamer, Harrison is still slowly returning from a non-life-threatening gunshot injury from last year, Bynes will be 33-years-old when the season begins, and Queen, while good at times, has yet to truly live up to his first-round potential. Baltimore did bring in three undrafted free agents in Josh Ross, Zakoby McClain, and Diego Fagot, but relying on those three to sure up the Ravens’ linebacking corps is asking a lot. Zrebiec does mention that Baltimore has several safeties that they can use in dime linebacker roles, which is a much more probable solution. Any of the Ravens’ strong safeties could slide down into a hybrid role. Tony Jefferson is a bit on the smaller side, but can still bring some hitting-power and coverage ability. Chuck Clark has excelled as a sixth-round pick during his five years in Baltimore but not necessarily for his ball-hawking ability. Sliding Clark down into a linebacker role could provide some benefit. Lastly, first-round draft pick Kyle Hamilton intrigued evaluators with his huge frame and versatility, with many comparing his traits and abilities to those of Derwin James. Hamilton’s size would place him nicely as an outside linebacker with elite coverage ability for the position. Regardless, Baltimore could see some benefit from trotting Queen and Bynes/Harrison out there and supplementing the linebacking group with a safety. I believe they’d rather work Hamilton or Clark out on the field than force Bynes, Harrison, or Welch into uncomfortable situations.

Ravens’ Tyus Bowser Has Surgery On Achilles

One of the most important pieces to the Ravens’ defense started the long road back to recovery from one of many major injuries the team suffered in 2021. Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser had surgery to repair his torn Achilles, according to a report from Pro Football Talk.

Bowser tore his Achilles during the team’s regular season finale against the Steelers. The 26-year-old posted pictures of himself in the hospital, adding the caption “and the comeback begins”. Bowser, a 2017 second round pick, has established himself as one of the most versatile members of Baltimore’s defense. He served as the team’s top pass rusher this season, but, as usual, also played a key role in the team’s number one run defense and frequently dropped back in coverage.

Bowser’s ‘Swiss Army Knife’ mold made him the Ravens’ priority in free agency this past offseason. He signed a four year, $22MM extension while more established pass rushers Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue signed in New England and Las Vegas, respectively. In 2022, he’ll have a guaranteed salary of $3MM and a cap hit of $5MM.

In his first season as the team’s most experienced edge rusher, Bowser recorded 59 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes defensed while appearing in all 17 games. The tackle and sack totals were career highs, as he played 77% of defensive snaps – also a career high. With Bowser and first round rookie Odafe Oweh as the only impact pass rushers under contract for next season, look for that position to be an area of focus for the Ravens this offseason.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Ravens Place Justin Houston, Brandon Williams, Others On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Ravens look set to be without several key defenders against the Lions on Sunday. They placed three defensive starters on their reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.

Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Jaylon Ferguson join defensive linemen Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike in landing on Baltimore’s coronavirus list. While differing protocols exist for vaccinated an unvaccinated players, Friday placements on the virus list leave teams in a bind. This quartet is set to miss Baltimore’s Week 3 game.

It is unclear which members, if any, of the group tested positive. Positive tests would jeopardize their availability for the Ravens’ Week 4 game against the Broncos. Regardless, this continues a brutal season for the Ravens on the availability front.

Baltimore is already without defensive end Derek Wolfe, having ruled out the veteran lineman due to a back injury. Williams has been a starter since 2014, while Madubuike — a 2020 third-round pick — played 49% of the Ravens’ defensive snaps in Week 2.

Houston, 32, has started both Baltimore’s games, lining up opposite Tyus Bowser. The Ravens do have first-round pick Odafe Oweh and Bowser set to be available. Pernell McPhee‘s status is uncertain due to a shoulder injury that prevented him from practicing Friday. Houston, who managed to avoid injuries during both his Colts seasons, will miss his first game since the 2018 season. The veteran edge rusher does not have a sack yet this season but obviously serves as a key player for a Ravens team that let Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue walk in free agency.

Baltimore withstood its numerous injuries to upend Kansas City on Sunday night, but the AFC power’s lineup will be filled with backups in Detroit. The team will again be without left tackle Ronnie Stanley on Sunday as well, ruling the All-Pro blocker out due to an ankle injury.

Ravens Re-Sign Tyus Bowser

The Ravens have re-signed outside linebacker Tyus Bowser to a four-year deal, $22MM deal, as Adam Caplan of SiriusXM tweets. With incentives, the pact could be worth as much as $27MM. A healthy portion of the contract — $12MM — is guaranteed. 

[RELATED: Patriots Sign Ravens’ Judon]

The deal gives Bowser some long-term security while helping the Ravens to maintain at least some consistency heading into 2021. Earlier this week, the Ravens lost star edge rusher Matt Judon when he agreed to a four-year, $56MM deal with the Patriots. Meanwhile, outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue left to join up with the Raiders on a two-year, $26MM contract. And, just moments ago, Jihad Ward agreed to follow his former position coach to Jacksonville.

Bowser enjoyed the best season of his career in 2020. All in all, he registered 34 tackles, two sacks, 14 quarterback hits, and three interceptions. Bowser wasn’t the biggest name of the bunch, but he had plenty of suitors in free agency. Despite the other offers, he’s said all along that he wanted to remain with the Ravens.

You just see the depth and the talent that we have,” Bowser told 105.7 The Fan recently.” You just see the job that not only [longtime GM] Ozzie [Newsome] but [GM] Eric DeCosta have done drafting linebackers these past few years. You just see it working out for a lot of those gigs. They’re put in a position to make money and prove themselves as who they are in this league. I’m definitely thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization and be in the position where I am now.”