The Ravens' depth at outside linebacker took a hit with veteran Vince Biegel’s season-ending Achilles tear yesterday, which could prompt the team to sign an established free agent at the position.
Three-time Pro Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly visited the Ravens in June and is still available.
"Biegel's injury could spur the Ravens to revisit [Pierre-Paul's] status or look to sign another accomplished veteran," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "The list of available outside linebackers includes Everson Griffen, Trey Flowers, Carl Nassib and Takkarist McKinley."
Biegel, who was getting reps with the first-team defense throughout training camp, wasn't a lock to make the 53-man roster, but his injury leaves Odafe Oweh, Justin Houston, Daelin Hayes, Steven Means and undrafted rookies Jeremiah Moon and Chuck Wiley as the only healthy outside linebackers.
Tyus Bowser and second-round pick David Ojabo are rehabbing. Bowser could be ready for Week 1, but Ojabo isn't expected to debut until October at the earliest.
"At the very least, the Ravens will need another outside linebacker to just absorb some practice reps and play in the preseason," Zrebiec wrote. "They won't want guys like Houston and Oweh playing much, if at all, during the preseason. If they are truly worried about the group as a whole and how long it will take Bowser and Ojabo to return and contribute, they could look for much more than a training camp body."
Lamar Jackson Ranked No. 1 on List of 2023 Prospective Free Agents
Lamar Jackson is No. 1 on NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal’s rankings of the top 25 prospective free agents for 2023. Of course, Jackson's inclusion should come with an asterisk.
Rosenthal said he had to put Jackson at No. 1 because of his talent, but he doesn't believe the 2019 MVP will hit free agency.
"The closer Jackson gets to free agency, the more I'm convinced the Ravens will sign him to a long-term agreement before they need to use the franchise tag," Rosenthal wrote.
Jackson is in the final year of his rookie contract. If a contract extension isn't finalized before the start of this season, the Ravens could use the franchise tag on him in 2023 and 2024.
John Harbaugh Selected As Head Coach for CBS Sports' Survivor Squad
John Harbaugh was chosen as the head coach for CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin’s third annual Survivor Squad, in which he selected one representative from each team to build the best roster possible. Per Dubin's rule, anyone who made the 2020 or 2021 squad was ineligible.
"Harbaugh has had tremendous success in Baltimore, compiling a 137-88 record that is good for the fifth-best mark in the NFL since he took over in 2008," Dubin wrote. "In 14 seasons, he's taken the Ravens to the playoffs nine times, compiling an 11-8 postseason record and winning a Super Bowl. … Over the past few seasons, he has shown a willingness to adapt to his personnel that is likely unmatched by any other coach in the league. (The Ravens completely overhauled their offensive philosophy to mesh with Lamar Jackson's talents in the span of one offseason.)
"He's also consistently made aggressive decisions when it comes to things like fourth downs and two-point conversions, and as a former special teams coach, he'd likely make that a priority for our squad as well."
Could Joe Flacco Take the Field Against Ravens in Week 1?
For the first time since trading Joe Flacco after the 2018 season, the Ravens will see their former quarterback on the opposing sideline when they visit the New York Jets in the regular-season opener.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that Flacco, the backup to 2021 No. 2-overall pick Zach Wilson, could see action against the team he spent 11 years with and led to victory in Super Bowl XLVII.
"How cool would it be to see Flacco face his former team at MetLife Stadium in Week 1?" Russell Street Report’s Aidan Griesser wrote. "It'd be a weird game to watch, that's for sure."
Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh said earlier this week that Flacco "is a starting quarterback in this league."
The 37-year-old Flacco, who started 13 games with the Broncos and Jets over the past three seasons, said yesterday that he is embracing his role as Wilson's mentor, but he agrees with Saleh that he still has what it takes to be a starter.
"I still think I have that ability to start," Flacco said. "It's good to hear people say that — especially people that are close to the situation. I do believe I am still good enough to be a starting quarterback. That's what still drives me to work hard and be the best I can."
J.K. Dobbins Is No. 15 in Maurice Jones-Drew's RB1 Rankings
Even though running back J.K. Dobbins didn't play a single down last season, he was still ranked in the top half of NFL.com’s Maurice Jones-Drew’s RB1 rankings heading into the season.
Dobbins came in at No. 15 in Jones-Drew's rankings.
"Dobbins was poised to break out after averaging 82.5 rushing yards per game over the final six regular-season contests of 2020, but a knee injury derailed his 2021 season before it even started," Jones-Drew wrote. "He's currently on the PUP list, with NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reporting last week that it was not a certainty Dobbins would be ready for Week 1. Dobbins disagreed on social media shortly thereafter. Whenever Dobbins is back, he will be the starter once again and should be poised for a bounce-back year."
Dobbins' return to the practice field looks like it'll be sooner than later, possibly this Monday.
"He wants to get back out there," Harbaugh said yesterday. "We'll look at it again Monday and see where we're at Monday. Maybe he starts doing something like individual, maybe not. It will be up to the docs."
● NFL.com’s Adam Rank said former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and return specialist Devin Hester deserve to be part of the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.