After not being able to participate in all of training camp and the preseason with a knee injury that “flared” during the offseason, the Baltimore Ravens announced they’re keeping sixth-year veteran outside linebacker Tyus Bowser on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List to start the 2023 season as part of their roster moves to get down to 53 players on Tuesday.
Ravens placed on Reserve/NFI— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) August 29, 2023
OLB Tyus Bowser
OLS Nick Moore
OL Andrew Vorhees
This means he will have to miss at least the first four games of the regular season and wouldn’t be eligible to return to play, assuming he’s healthy, until at least Week 5 when the team travels to face the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time this year. It also means that he’d miss their Week 2 matchup with the two-time defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals as well as their Week 4 divisional bout with the Cleveland Browns.
With Bowser out of commission for the first month and the roster as currently constructed, that leaves three-time Pro Bowler Jadeveon Clowney as the lone veteran edge defender on a very young depth chart. He has only been with the team a couple of weeks but is a “perfect fit” according to Head Coach John Harbaugh last Thursday.
Bowser’s setback along with his impressive standout performances in training camp and the preseason paved the way for undrafted rookie outside linebacker Malik Hamm to make the final roster. The local product from Baltimore joins Clowney, fourth-round rookie Tavius Robinson, 2021 first-rounder Odafe Oweh, and 2022 second-rounder David Ojabo to make up the Ravens edge depth chart to start the season.
An aspect of Bowser’s game that will be missed the most is his ideal skill set to play the SAM spot, the rest of the other outside linebackers project more as RUSH outside linebackers primarily although Clowney does have experience and the athletic ability to drop into underneath coverage.
We’ll have to wait and see how Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald works around this injury for the time being. Thankfully, he has dynamic players at both inside linebacker and in the secondary such as Roquan Smith, Patrick Queen, and Kyle Hamilton that can be deployed in a myriad of ways and possess the size and versatility to match up well on running backs and tight ends as well as blitz from depth or off the edge.