A day after being activated to the 53-man roster, rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo participated in his first full Ravens practice Wednesday and believes his NFL debut isn't far away.
Baltimore's second-round pick was activated this week and continues his recovery from a torn Achilles suffered in March during his Pro Day. Ojabo is eager to join the outside linebacker rotation and sees his hard work paying off after months of rehab.
"It's been a long journey, but it's God's plan at the end of the day," said Ojabo, who was a projected first-round pick before his injury. "We're getting there, man. I made my first full practice. I feel good. I already know the playbook. It's just a matter of getting my confidence back, getting my footing back."
During his recovery, Ojabo has leaned on veteran outside linebacker Tyus Bowser, who is also returning from a torn Achilles and joined the 53-man roster this week. The Ravens will determine after practicing this week if Bowser and Ojabo are ready for Monday Night Football against the Saints.
Ojabo said Bowser's encouragement has been uplifting over the past few months.
"That's like my mentor," Ojabo said. "We've spent a whole lot of time together. I look up to the way he handles his business. He's very organized. I follow his lead."
Once Ojabo is back on the field, he'll pair with Odafe Oweh for the first time since they were terrorizing quarterbacks together in high school at Blair Academy.
"I talk to him every week about it. He's ready," Oweh said. "Today, he felt good. He was able to plant on it. He said he's ready. He's ready to make an impact and show everything about who he is and everything like that."
Patrick Queen Was 'Shocked and Ecstatic' About Roquan Smith Trade
The trade that brought Roquan Smith to the Ravens will impact inside linebacker Patrick Queen, who welcomes the acquisition.
Smith leads the NFL in tackles with 83, and now he's paired with Queen, who leads the Ravens in tackles with 53. Some wondered how Queen would react to the deal, but he sees himself as part of an inside linebacker tandem that will make Baltimore's defense stronger.
"He's just an all-around playmaker [and] physical cat," Queen said. "He's just born to be a Raven, honestly. So, I'm really excited to have him on our team.
"I was just shocked and ecstatic at the same time. Most people thought I would take it the wrong way, when honestly, if you've got somebody that quick playing on the other side of you [that] you get to learn from and see the things that he does, you just get a piece of his game. You know how some people will be like, 'Oh, he's coming to take your spot' and this and that – people who really don't know football at all. But I'm ecstatic."
Two first-round picks in the middle of the Ravens defense who are both playmakers and excel at making tackles behind the line of scrimmage will make it even tougher for offenses to scheme against.
"Two of the best linebackers in the league," Queen said. "I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I just feel like that's how it's going to be. [We're] two guys that fly to the ball, get their hands on the ball, get in the backfield and disrupt stuff. So, we're definitely going to wreak havoc."
Monday Night Football Will be Louisiana Homecoming for Queen
Facing the Saints on Monday Night Football will give Queen, a Louisiana native, a chance to play in his home state for the first time since winning the national championship with LSU. He'll have a host of family and friends in attendance.
"I'll have a lot of people out there for me, [and] I'll have a lot of people out there against me," Queen said. "It's just exciting to go back there."
The Saints had a chance to draft Queen in 2020 with the 24th-overall pick but took center Cesar Ruiz instead, before the Ravens selected Queen at No. 28. Queen wasn't really a Saints fans growing up, and being bypassed in the draft by the Saints gives him more motivation to show them what they missed.
"For some reason, I was a Miami Dolphins fan growing up and then the Saints," Queen said. "But you grow into it – being from Louisiana. And then, obviously, stuff happened in the draft. It's still all love back down there for them, but obviously, I'm going in there trying to win this game for my team."
Demarcus Robinson Ready to Fill Void While Rashod Bateman is Sidelined
Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson is coming off his best game with the Ravens (six catches, 64 yards) and plans to use that as a springboard. The Ravens will need production from Robinson with Rashod Bateman (foot) sidelined for a few weeks.
"Just trying to do what I did last game – stay in the mix and try to make a couple plays so I can help the team win," Robinson. "It's just capitalizing on opportunities whenever you get a chance to touch the ball."
In his first season with Baltimore, Robinson said his chemistry with Lamar Jackson has grown each week.
"We've been working a lot these past couple weeks and I feel like it's definitely coming along now stronger than it has been," Robinson said. "We're going to try to keep that going, for sure."