Ravens DE Calais Campbell is making a profound impact on and off the field

Ravens, Calais Campbell (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Ravens, Calais Campbell (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Ravens’ Calais Campbell may be the league’s oldest defensive lineman playing the game right now, but don’t let that fool you.

Following speculation about his future after the 2021 season, Campbell decided to return for one last ride with the Ravens this year.

At 36 years old, Campbell still plays roughly 66 percent of defensive snaps and remains a stalwart fixture in Baltimore’s top-performing defensive line that includes Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington.

Campbell recorded a career-low 1.5 sacks in 2021, yet he’s already at 4.5 sacks this season buoyed by a resurgent defense that held the Carolina Panthers to just three points last week.

Head coach John Harbaugh handed the defensive line their laurels after Week 11’s win:

"“I think our defensive line deserves a ton of credit. If I had to go back in there and do it again, I’d give it to the D-line just because they dominated. [Carolina] is a very good running team, and the D-line pretty much dominated the run game.”"

To see a player of Campbell’s age play at an elite level game after game is unusual but not surprising given Campbell’s decorated resume.

Ravens’ Calais Campbell is an irreplaceable leader in the defensive line

Campbell, a six-time Pro Bowler, has an established record that proves he’s just as influential on the field as he is off the field. His prolific production and animated locker room presence go hand in hand, and he was recently nominated by the Ravens for this year’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship award.

In his 15 seasons in the league, Campbell spent most of his time with the Arizona Cardinals before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent in 2017.

That year, he set a single-season record of 14.5 sacks and finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting; two years later with the Jaguars, he would be named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, one of the league’s most prestigious honors.

Campbell has demonstrated that same high standard of leadership for the past three years in Baltimore, where he currently serves a key role in the Ravens’ defense that ranks third in the league against the run.

In Week 12, Campbell will make his first return to the Jaguars’ stadium and be greeted by numerous familiar faces, and he’ll no doubt command Jacksonville’s respect having helped set defensive records as a Jaguar half a decade ago.

If his stint in Jacksonville serves as any indication, Campbell doesn’t just leave a team — he leaves an indelible mark on his teammates, coaches, and every single part of the franchise.

Next. Ravens have crazy high odds of making the playoffs in 2022. dark

The Ravens are lucky to have him in 2022 and will want to make his potential last year in the league a memorable one.