Ravens outside linebacker Tyus Bowser’s recovery from an offseason knee injury has jeopardized his availability for the team’s season opener, and perhaps even longer.
Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that he was “hopeful” that Bowser would “get back here first game, second game, third game, somewhere in there,” but acknowledged the decision rested with the team’s medical staff and Bowser.
Bowser, wearing a sleeve on his right leg, worked out under an athletic trainer’s supervision for the first 20 minutes of Monday’s practice that were open to reporters. Two weeks ago, Harbaugh said Bowser was dealing with an “agitated knee,” which sidelined him at training camp and kept him on the team’s non-football-injury list.
If Bowser is not activated before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline for roster cuts, he would miss at least the Ravens’ first four games and open a spot on their initial 53-man roster. Harbaugh declined to comment Monday on whether Bowser would remain on the NFI list.
Bowser, the Ravens’ most reliable outside linebacker in coverage, missed the first two months of the 2022 season after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered at the end of the 2021 season. If he’s unavailable, the Ravens would likely enter their Week 1 game against the Houston Texans relying on Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo, Jadeveon Clowney and rookie Tavius Robinson at outside linebacker. Inside linebackers Malik Harrison and Trenton Simpson have experience on the edge as well.
Harbaugh also said tight end Mark Andrews, who’s missed the team’s past three practices, is set to return next week. He’s expected to play against Houston, Harbaugh said, “and he should be fine.”
Tyler Huntley, who’s vying with Josh Johnson for the backup-quarterback job, is not a candidate for injured reserve, Harbaugh said, which would also sideline him until at least Week 5. Huntley hasn’t practiced since injuring his hamstring in the Ravens’ Aug. 12 preseason opener, and Ravens coaches have maintained that the battle for the backup spot is an open competition.
“We’re going to work all that stuff out in the next couple of days,” Harbaugh said. “It’s really not information that we’re probably going to just put out there too much for any position, just because, why would we? It’s not something that we need to do right now. We’re making plans. In most cases, we have our plans organized. A few cases, maybe, we still have some decisions to make.”