Jason Pierre-Paul won't play this Sunday against the Patriots, but the Ravens are hopeful he'll be ready to play quickly.
After agreeing to terms with the Ravens Thursday, Pierre-Paul will join the team next week and will be looking to make an impact as quickly as possible. The veteran pass rusher underwent shoulder surgery in February but was impressive during his recent workout with the team.
"We have a pretty good idea that he looks good," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "It's just going to be how he looks out there really at practice. As soon as he's ready, he wants to play, I know that. He's not coming in here to take a long lot of time to get ramped up. As soon as he looks like he's ready to go, he'll be out there."
When healthy, the 33-year-old Pierre-Paul has been in impact player with 91 ½ career sacks. He's won Super Bowls with the Giants and Buccaneers and has registered at least seven sacks in eight of his 12 NFL seasons.
Adding a player with a proven NFL track record gives the Ravens more depth at outside linebacker, where Odafe Oweh and Justin Houston have been carrying a heavy load with Tyus Bowser (Achilles) and second-round rookie David Ojabo (Achilles) still out of action.
"It's exciting because he's a football player; he loves football, he's a competitive guy," Harbaugh said. "I've always admired the kind of way he goes about his business."
Odafe Oweh Welcomes JPP Addition
The Ravens had just two outside linebackers on their 53-man roster before signing Pierrre-Paul. That has contributed to a lot of snaps for Oweh and Houston.
Oweh played 68 snaps in Week 1 against the Jets and 58 snaps in Week 2. His season-high as a rookie was 55 and he hit 50 just twice all year.
Houston played 103 snaps over the first two games, which is the most he's had over a two-game stretch since 2018.
"It should help the team, help us," Oweh said. "We had a depth issue. So we're all going to be fresh. Looking forward to having him here."
Harbaugh also said the Ravens could elevate an outside linebacker – either recently signed veteran Brandon Copeland or undrafted rookie Jeremiah Moon – from the practice squad for Sunday's game.
Nick Boyle Feels Ready to Play, Isn't Thinking About Gillette Stadium Return
Tight end Nick Boyle could make his 2022 game debut in the same stadium where he suffered his brutal knee injury two years ago, Gillette Stadium.
It's been a long road back and Boyle still hasn't been active for the Ravens' first two games. However, Harbaugh said Monday that Boyle has a "good chance" to play. For the first time this season, Boyle was a full participant in all three days of practice.
"Every day I go out there I'm still trying to strive and get better and better. That's how it was before my injury and that's how it is after my injury," Boyle said. "I think I'm there and I'm just excited to go play.
"It's tough [sitting out the first two weeks]. But decisions are decisions and every day you go out there and work and show that you can go out there and play. When it's your time, the most important thing is to be ready to go and play well."
Boyle dropped 10-12 pounds this offseason, which was to put less strain on his surgically repaired knee and help him move better. He said his strength is still very good in the weight room, but his slimmer frame has changed the way he blocks some.
"Maybe a little more effort, a little more intensity every single block," Boyle said. "But that comes with feet drive and leverage and technique. If I have that down, I'll be really good."
Boyle could help jumpstart a ground game that has struggled to get going with the running backs. That's what he'll be thinking about Sunday, not on returning to the scene of his injury.
"Once I get there, I'm locking into the gameplan," Boyle said. "Honestly, I don't have any feelings about getting hurt there. That's not one bit on my mind."
Harbaugh Pleased With Ravens Avoiding Penalties
The Ravens had the fewest penalty yards in the NFL (34) heading into Week 3, one yard fewer than the Packers. By comparison, the Broncos led the league in penalty yards with 206.
Harbaugh is pleased to see the Ravens avoiding flags and wants that trend to continue against a Patriots team that is known for not beating itself. The Ravens have been penalized just five times in two games.
"We have a long way to go, but our guys are playing disciplined football," Harbaugh said. "They're doing a good job with their feet and their hands, and playing fundamental football in those kinds of situations, and that's what you do. We're not grabby in the backend, our offensive line aren't holders; we don't teach that. Knock on [wood], let's keep it up. Let's keep it rolling."