Ravens OLB David Ojabo had surgery to repair partially torn ACL, will miss rest of season | NOTES

Ravens outside linebacker David Ojabo had surgery last week to repair a partially torn ACL and will likely be ready for training camp next year, coach John Harbaugh said.

Ojabo, the team’s 2022 second-round draft pick, had hoped to avoid surgery and play again this season, but Harbaugh said “every medical expert told him to get it fixed.”

Ojabo has played just five games in two seasons after he spent most of last year recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered during his pro day at Michigan. He was considered a first-round talent with enormous upside as an edge rusher before that injury.

“David’s going to be a great player in this league,” said Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who also coached Ojabo at Michigan. “He’s dealing with adversity right now, and he needs our support. He has it.”

Stanley ‘needs to get stronger’

Harbaugh said the Ravens came out of their Sunday night victory over the Los Angeles Chargers without any fresh health concerns. He gave the players a week off while coaches plan to work ahead on preparations for a difficult late-season schedule. The Ravens will return to action Dec. 10 against the visiting Los Angeles Rams.

Harbaugh said one player who will benefit from the bye week is left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who allowed six pressures against the Chargers as he struggled to play through a knee injury that kept him out the previous week.

“It’s not been great,” Harbaugh said. “I think he’d probably be the first to tell you it’s not been great. He needs to get stronger, he needs to get his technique right, he needs to get out and practice. He’s a great player, and we want to get him back playing at that high level.”

Stanley was the Ravens’ lowest-graded offensive player against the Chargers, according to Pro Football Focus.

“I think that’s more of a question for Ronnie,” offensive coordinator Todd Monken said when asked if Stanley will benefit from a week off. “Credit to him, he’s tried to work through it.”

Ravens to clean up ‘administrative’ troubles

Harbaugh and his staff spent Monday reviewing some of the operational troubles that plagued the Ravens in an uneven effort against the Chargers.

Harbaugh said he did not regret holding onto his challenge flag when officials appeared to deprive the Ravens of two first downs with poor spots. On the first play, a run to the sideline by quarterback Lamar Jackson, Harbaugh was adamant that the Ravens would not have won a challenge based on the replay angles available at the stadium. On the second, a reception by Nelson Agholor, he said the Ravens believed game officials had awarded a first down. They were trying to go up-tempo at the time and called the next pass assuming it was a first down play rather than a third down play. They ultimately converted on fourth down with a short run by Gus Edwards.

“We wasted a play on that one, administratively,” Harbaugh said. “They should have caught it upstairs anyway with the replay official, but they didn’t. So we’ll take responsibility for that.”

Harbaugh ultimately used his challenge on a lateral by the Chargers that went for 17 yards. He said the lateral, from wide receiver Keenan Allen to running back Austin Ekeler, was close enough to being forward that the risk was justified, even though the Ravens did not get the call reversed.

“I think it was the right challenge,” he said. “That’s a 17-yard play on third-and-long, a high-leverage opportunity. You’ve got to challenge in that situation.”

He acknowledged that administrative difficulties, in this case a play clock that started faster than the Ravens expected, also contributed to Justin Tucker’s missed 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Harbaugh said the attempt was rushed, though he added that Tucker, who hooked the kick outside the left upright, would never make such an excuse.

“It’s just a miss,” Harbaugh said of Tucker’s fifth misfire this season. “He’s human. I’m sure glad we have him, and I always will be.”

Monken, meanwhile, took responsibility for rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers running all the way to the end zone instead of going down short of the goal line to run out the clock at the end of the game. He said he should have told Jackson to remind everyone not to score in that situation.

“Yeah, we should have gone down,” he said. “That’s on me. … That would have ended the game right there.”

He joked that it would have also saved the world from seeing another “silly” touchdown celebration from Flowers, who pretended to nail a soccer penalty kick after the 37-yard score. Flowers had pretended to toss a bridal bouquet after an earlier touchdown catch, which Jackson said “was the worst celebration I’ve ever seen.”

“Odell [Beckham Jr.] is like the first guy in the end zone. I didn’t know he had that much juice; he’d been out half the week,” Monken said, clearly enjoying himself. “He certainly found enough energy to choreograph the end-zone celebration. I think it’s great. It’s guys having fun, showing their personalities. I’m certainly not involved.”


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