A groin injury that has been bothering Tyus Bowser since July 27 might be setting him back in the race to back up Ravens starting strong-side linebacker Matthew Judon.
Bowser sat out his third consecutive practice Sunday at the team’s headquarters in Owings Mills and has yet to play in a preseason game this month. Bowser, a second-round pick in last year’s NFL draft, compiled nine tackles, three sacks and one interception as a rookie, but coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that Bowser’s extended absence is affecting his bid to warrant more playing time.
“Tyus has had a little groin thing,” Harbaugh said Sunday. “It doesn’t feel like he’s at 100 percent right now. He needs to get back out there. The competition is starting to heat up.”
Bowser was listed as the primary backup to Judon at strong-side linebacker on the team’s depth chart before Thursday night’s 33-7 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium. With Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith entrenched at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, at rush linebacker, Bowser is battling Tim Williams and Kamalei Correa.
Williams, who was selected one round after Bowser, had five tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in the win against Los Angeles, and Correa, who was a second-round choice in 2016, accumulated six tackles, three sacks and one interception in the team’s 17-16 preseason win against the Chicago Bears on Aug. 2.
Despite lengthy layoff, Senat tapped as backup LT
Greg Senat’s first NFL training camp got off to a rocky start. The rookie offensive tackle sat out the Ravens’ first 10 practices because of a left foot injury, but the missed time does not seem to have affected his value to the team.
When the starting offensive linemen left the field at M&T Bank Stadium after the second series of Thursday night’s victory over the Rams, Senat lined up at left tackle. If being tasked with protecting rookie quarterback and first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson in the first half was daunting, Senat seemed comfortable with the assignment after being inserted into the game after only four days of practice.
“I don’t think I’m surprised,” the second of three sixth-round selections in April’s NFL draft said after Saturday’s practice. “Even when I was hurt, I was putting in a lot of work of just being in my playbook and watching a lot of film. Right now for me, it’s just all about getting reps and getting back into it and back into ball and going full speed.”
Battle at right tackle
Six-time Pro Bowl selection Marshal Yanda increased his workload Sunday, lining up at his usual spot at right guard in some full-team exercises.
Yanda’s return prompted James Hurst to move from right guard to right tackle, which had been previously occupied by rookie Orlando Brown Jr. Harbaugh said Hurst has the edge over Brown to start at right tackle.
“I think it’s going to be a battle,” Harbaugh said. “James has got the inside track certainly as the incumbent or veteran guy. But Orlando gets better every day. So I think it’s going to be a really good battle and a good problem to have. That’s the kind of problem you want to have.”
Besides Bowser, rookie fullback Christopher Ezeala, rookie middle linebacker Alvin Jones, safety Bennett Jackson and tight end Maxx Williams did not practice Sunday. Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo (upper leg muscle), linebacker Bam Bradley (ACL) and cornerback Jaylen Hill (right ACL, MCL) are still on the physically-unable-to-perform list. … Harbaugh revealed that he had 50 pizzas delivered Saturday to the team’s training facility, but was unable to get one slice. “You put 50 boxes of pizza, and you’ve got close to 100 players in the locker room, and for some of the guys that weren’t in the locker room, those pizzas aren’t going to make it,” he said. “It’s not like it’s going to be, yeah, I’m going to save a piece for my buddy. It was gone. And I got the pizza, you know? Can someone save me a slice? Didn’t happen.” Harbaugh said the pizzas “really weren’t that big” and vowed to order 150 boxes next time. “The pizza was amazing though,” he said, pausing briefly before adding, “I heard.”