David Ojabo has some decisions to make, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday.
The second-year outside linebacker injured his ankle against the Colts and was placed on injured reserve ahead of the Week 4 game against Cleveland. But it appears he could be out longer than the requisite four games.
“He’s still being evaluated,” Harbaugh said. “There are some decisions that have to be made, that he has to make, in terms of how he wants to approach the injury issues that he has. It’s just kind of — I think that’s still private, on his concern. So I would just say that is up in the air, that one.”
Ojabo set high expectations with his improvements over the offseason and through training camp. He, along with his friend and fellow outside linebacker Odafe Oweh, were supposed to be a formidable pair setting the foundation for the Ravens’ future.
Instead, both players injured their ankles. Oweh’s injury came in Week 1, and Ojabo’s followed in Week 3. Oweh was in a boot, but that came off during practice ahead of Week 4.
Ojabo, a 2022 second-round draft pick out of Michigan, and Oweh, a 2021 first-round pick out of Penn State, both have a lot to prove.
In the meantime, the Ravens signed free agent Kyle Van Noy to bolster their outside linebacker group, which was down to Jadeveon Clowney, rookie Tavius Robinson and practice squad elevation Jeremiah Moon. Veteran Tyus Bowser (knee) has also been on injured reserve.
Van Noy played 33% of the defensive snaps against the Browns, with two quarterback hits. He successfully generated pressured on 33% of his blitzes.
Bowser, a smart player who has appeared in 89 games, has “a chance” to return for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harbaugh said that will depend on what the trainers say and how he looks in practice.
The prognosis isn’t dire
For every Raven that comes off the injury list another seemingly gets knocked onto it.
Ahead of their win against the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens got center Tyler Linderbaum (ankle) and running back Justice Hill (toe) back. During the game against the Browns, they lost defensive back Daryl Worley (shoulder), cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis (hamstring) and offensive lineman Morgan Moses (shoulder).
Harbaugh said none of them appear to be injuries that will keep players out for a significant amount of time.
“Some of those MRIs are getting evaluated, as is Morgan,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll know more Wednesday probably in terms of what guys are able to do at practice. But nothing that’s going to impact us for the whole length of the season, it doesn’t look like right now.”
Running back Keaton Mitchell (shoulder) is in a similar situation as Bowser, Harbaugh said. If general manager Eric DeCosta decides, based on conversations with the trainers, that Bowser and Mitchell can practice, Ravens officials will evaluate how both players look through the week. But a return for Week 5 is possible.
Harbaugh is also hopeful cornerback Marlon Humphrey could make his season debut in Pittsburgh. Humphrey, who is out with a foot injury, is “within the range” of his expected return. On Aug. 29, Harbaugh said he was confident Humphrey could return during the first quarter of the season, but on Monday, Harbaugh said he’d never publicly shared a timetable for his return.
“You can’t say a date — he’s in the range,” Harbaugh said. “I’m hopeful that he’d get back this week. I was hopeful last week. And if it’s not this week, it will probably be next week. He’s in the range right now.”