Ravens' Patrick Onwuasor earns AFC Defensive Player of the Week for starring role at Chargers

Ravens inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor on Wednesday was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his star turn in Saturday's 22-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Onwuasor posted a team-high nine tackles in just 42 snaps (30 defensive, 12 on special teams), including two sacks, and forced the fumble on tight end Antonio Gates that cornerback Tavon Young recovered and returned for a decisive fourth-quarter touchdown.


Onwuasor was unavailable for comment before practice, but coach John Harbaugh said the honor was “well-deserved.”

“Great to see that,” he said. “He’s worked so hard and plays with such passion, which you appreciate about him as a player.”

More decisions than the one to start Lamar Jackson at quarterback contributed to the Ravens turning their season around to move within a game of making the playoffs.

For the season, Onwuasor has 55 tackles, 5½ sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and three passes defended. He is the first Raven to be so honored since outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith, in Week 6.

Onwuasor, who was signed by the organization as an undrafted rookie in 2016, has shifted from safety to linebacker. After starting 13 of 16 games a year ago, he has held off rookie Kenny Young, a 2018 fourth-round draft pick, to start 11 of 15 games this season.

Onwuasor has validated the front office’s decision to take a chance on the former Portland State standout.

“I think our scouts and our coaches that evaluated Patrick saw a football player,” Harbaugh said. “They saw a guy who would run around and make plays. That’s something we talk about a lot around here. [General manager] Ozzie [Newsome] talks a lot about it. He’s a football player, and usually you can find a spot for a football player. Really, that’s what’s happened.”

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, whom the Ravens will face in a must-win game Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun