Ravens rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo doesn’t mind waiting.
He didn’t play regularly at Michigan until his third season in Ann Arbor. He fell to the second round of this year’s NFL draft despite having first-round ability. And he wasn’t activated to the Ravens’ 53-man roster until Tuesday, almost midway through a season shaped by the first significant injury of his career.
But after practicing fully Wednesday for the first time since he tore his left Achilles tendon at the Wolverines’ pro day in March, Ojabo feels his return to action is approaching.
“We’re getting there, man,” he said Wednesday, his first session with local reporters since the Ravens drafted him No. 45 overall in April. “I made my first full practice, and I feel good. I already know the playbook, so it’s just a matter of getting my confidence back, getting my footing back. Just pray for me, man. I’ll be out there.”
The Ravens face the New Orleans Saints on Monday, then have a Week 10 bye. Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that it was “hard” to assess Ojabo’s availability for “Monday Night Football” because of his lack of practice time, but said it was possible that he could play.
Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh, a close friend of Ojabo’s since they played together in high school, said Ojabo is “ready.”
“Today, he felt good,” Oweh said. “He was able to plant on [his left leg], and he said he’s ready. So he’s ready to make an impact and show everyone who he is.”
Ojabo said he didn’t know what to expect from his recovery process, which sometimes involved twice-daily sessions with the team’s rehabilitation staff. He followed the lead of outside linebacker Tyus Bowser, who tore his Achilles in January and also was activated Tuesday.
“That’s, like, my mentor in the building,” Ojabo said. “We spend a whole lot of time together. I just look up to the way he kind of handles his business. He’s very organized from his time to energy, and I just fed off that.”
Ojabo would add even more speed to a pass rush that has broken out in recent weeks. He had 11 sacks and five forced fumbles in 14 games for Michigan last season and was considered a potential first-round Ravens target before his injury. Ojabo called it a “long journey” to the brink of his NFL debut but said he “can’t be happier.”
“Now that I’m here, I’ve just got to wait my turn, and I’ll wait until the time is right,” he said. “It’s God’s plan, man. Everything’s going to work out.”
Ravens at Saints
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM
Line: Ravens by 2 1/2
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