The Baltimore Ravens were given a glimmer of hope that All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews might be able to return at some point this season. Head Coach John Harbaugh announced Monday that the serious ankle injury he suffered in Week 11 “wasn’t as bad as initially feared.”
However, that hasn’t stopped General Manager Eric DeCosta and the front office from doing their due diligence on available players who could potentially be brought in. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, former first-round pick O.J. Howard was one of a handful of tight ends that worked out for the team on Monday.
With Mark Andrews out indefinitely, the #Ravens worked out a group of tight ends, including onetime first-round pick O.J. Howard.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 20, 2023
Originally drafted No. 19 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017 out Alabama, Howard has been on three different teams in the past year and has yet to play a snap this season. While he possesses the athletic traits to be a dangerous pass-catching threat, the seven-year veteran has yet to put it all together during his first six years in the league.
Howard’s best season to-date was his second year in the league back in 2018. He was in the midst of a breakout campaign until ankle and foot injuries cut his season short after 10 games. Before going down, he recorded career highs in receptions (34), receiving yards (565), and catching percentage (70.8). Howard was also well on his way to doing the same in touchdowns with five after recording six in 14 games as a rookie.
Last season, he appeared in 13 games and made 10 starts for the Houston Texans during which he caught 10 of his 23 targets for 145 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns, both of which came in the season opener.
According KPRC 2 Houston’s Aaron Wilson, the Ravens also worked out fourth-year pros Connor Davis and Scotty Washington, as well as fifth-year veteran Chris Myarick. Per a source, Wilson was told that Washington is set to sign with the team
While Howard is a notable name with proven talent, the Ravens are very confident in the ability of second-year pro Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar to step up alongside their revamped wide receiver depth chart in the absence of Andrews for the time being.
“[I] have full confidence in those guys,” Harbaugh said. “I know they’re going to go in there and get their shot and do a great job with it.”
Another tight end they’re high on, who is already on the team as a member of the practice squad, is undrafted rookie Travis Vokolek. In three preseason games with the Ravens this summer, he caught six of his eight targets for 63 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
“He looks good in practice. Travis does a great job. He’s tough on our [defensive] guys; he makes catches; he’s developing as a blocker,” Harbaugh said. “I would say all arrows are pointing up for sure. He does a great job, and I’m excited for his future.”