Ravens optimistic that David Ojabo will recover in time to play in 2022
The Baltimore Ravens‘ decision to invest in second-round pass-rusher David Ojabo could reap rewards sooner than expected, as it seems Ojabo has a real chance of playing in 2022.
Ojabo was primed to be a first-round pick in the draft until he tore his Achilles at Michigan’s Pro Day workout in March. After his injury, the edge-rusher took a tumble down the boards before he was taken by Baltimore with the 45th overall pick.
The Ravens selected Ojabo knowing he may be redshirted for 2022 and may not make a sizeable impact until 2023, at the very least.
Yet Eric DeCosta said team doctors are “optimistic” that Ojabo will play at some point this year, and Ojabo himself has said his recovery is going as well as he could have hoped.
Ojabo recently told Sports Illustrated:
"“So far no pain, good flexibility, already biking. Cam Akers busted it and played in five and a half months. That lands me at August, September, maybe even October. Season’s still going. So, yeah, I anticipate playing.”"
Ravens outside linebacker David Ojabo could suit up for the 2022 season
Ravens fans may remember how Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles in early May of 2012 and ended up returning to action as soon as late October, a very similar timeline to that of Rams’ running back Cam Akers.
But comparing Ojabo’s situation to that of Akers or Suggs seems a little unrealistic given that Ojabo is just a rookie and needs time to adapt to the Ravens’ defensive scheme.
For all the reasons Ojabo may not recover in time to play this year, he couldn’t have asked for a better environment or atmosphere than Baltimore.
Reunited with defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and former high school teammate Odafe Oweh, Ojabo has all the tools for his future success at his disposal. Ojabo was also coached by John Harbaugh’s brother over at Michigan, so the team likely already has a few inside tips about the elite outside linebacker’s play.
Ojabo’s unique background and experiences may further help him hurdle the biggest obstacle a rookie can face in the league: recovering from a serious injury at the start of one’s career.
The young pass-rusher had this to say about his long-winded path to the NFL:
"“Before I always get a big win, God always takes something away from me. Came over from Scotland, didn’t get no offers, had to switch sports. Boom. Found football, went to Michigan, didn’t play for two years. Boom. Played, got first-round talk. And then now, Achilles. Boom. So stay tuned for what’s after.”"
Stay tuned indeed.
David Ojabo’s future shines bright as a Raven, and fingers crossed he can don the purple and black by the end of this year.
If any team knows anything about resilience, it’s the Baltimore Ravens.