After months of uncertainty and speculation, the mystery of when Ravens outside linebacker Tyus Bowser will be back on the field this season could be drawing close to a conclusion.
On Wednesday, coach John Harbaugh said that Bowser is meeting with doctors this week to examine a knee injury that has kept him out since before the season began. A day earlier, Bowser said on his podcast that he’s “feeling great” and “moving around very well.”
“I want what’s best for Tyus,” Harbaugh said. “I want this to kind of get resolved because he has worked hard to get physically where he can come back and play.”
Meanwhile, the saga drags on with the 28-year-old 2017 second-round draft pick still on the non-football injury list.
In August, Harbaugh said that Bowser, who didn’t participate in the Ravens’ offseason program or training camp, was dealing with an “agitated knee” but that he expected him to be back by the start of the season. Two weeks later, though, Bowser landed on the non-football injury list, keeping him out of a minimum of the first four games of the season.
Still, Bowser has often continued to work off to the side during practice.
During home games, the seventh-year linebacker has played catch with fans during warmups.
In London, he took a tour of the Tottenham Hotspur training facility during practice.
Then Monday, Harbaugh said during his weekly news conference that the situation with Bowser had “gotten a little bit more complicated over the last couple of weeks.”
“I’m going to let Tyus comment on that,” Harbaugh said when asked for an update on Bowser’s status. “[I’m] really not at liberty to talk about it right now but at some point in time I’m sure we’ll have an announcement on that one way or another. He’s got to make some choices and decisions.”
A day later on his podcast with co-host Glenn Clark, the linebacker gave an update.
“I’m on the field,” Bowser said. “I’m moving around very well. I’m just gaining more and more confidence each and every day — not only on the field but in the training room. I have great people around me, great support staff, and I feel like myself is getting to that point. I’m just going to continue to work hard, and when that time comes, it comes.”
Bowser, who hasn’t spoken to reporters this season, also said there was “a lot going on,” however, in the wake of Harbaugh’s comments Monday.
When healthy, Bowser, who signed a four-year, $22 million extension in March 2021, has been one of the Ravens’ more versatile players who has been strong against the run and effective in pass coverage. Two years ago, he had a career-high seven sacks.
But he has also been plagued by injuries the past two seasons. Last year, he appeared in just nine games after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in January 2022.
Despite his absence this season, Baltimore’s pass rush has been one of the best in the league.
The Ravens are tied for the NFL lead in sacks with 24. They also have 11 players with at least one sack, including at least three from a defensive lineman (Justin Madubuike), outside linebacker (Jadeveon Clowney), off-ball linebacker (Patrick Queen) and defensive back (Kyle Hamilton).
Still, they could use Bowser’s help.
The Ravens have also been without two other outside linebackers, Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo. Oweh suffered an ankle injury in Week 2, though he did return to practice Wednesday. Ojabo has been on injured reserve since suffering ankle/knee injuries in Week 3, though he could return later this season.
When Bowser is back on the field remains to be seen, though he said on his podcast he wouldn’t be out for the season.
“If I can play, I’ll definitely play,” Bowser said Tuesday. “That’s the goal. That’s the mindset.”
That’s the hope for Harbaugh, too.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what the resolutions [are],” he said of the doctors’ meetings with Bowser. “I’m hopeful that he gets back and plays. That’s what you want. It’s going to be in his court, I think. That’s been my understanding of it. We’ll just see what happens, but those are real decisions that guys have to make. We’ll see.”