The Cincinnati Bengals held their first on-field OTA session today, but Joseph Ossai was not able to fully work out.
Ossai, a third-round pick out of Texas in the 2021 NFL Draft, missed his rookie season due to a meniscus injury suffered in the preseason. He was expected to be ready for OTAs this year, but it looks like he’ll be limited for several more weeks.
That’s because, according to Zac Taylor, Ossai had another surgical procedure done recently, which led to him doing rehab work today.
Thankfully, Taylor still believes Ossai will be ready to go when training camp begins in July.
Zac Taylor said Joseph Ossai had another procedure done "to help the process," and will be "a couple more weeks" on side.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) May 17, 2022
"He's certainly on track to be able to play in training camp and be able to do some good things for us," Taylor said. https://t.co/0dMwR1AKQg
Bengals DE Joseph Ossai running sprints. Missed his rookie year in 2021 with a knee injury. pic.twitter.com/60VFaWns6q— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) May 17, 2022
Ossai, who was born in Nigeria, played middle linebacker and outside linebacker during his college career. As a junior in 2020, he primarily played on the outside and earned First-Team All-American honors after finishing tied for the third-most tackles for loss (16) in the FBS in just nine starts. He also led Texas with 5.5 sacks to go with 55 total tackles, two pass breakups and three forced fumbles.
The 6-foot-4, 256-pound Ossai projected as an edge player in the NFL, and the Bengals tabbed him a defensive end when he was drafted, which is where he’s still listed.
Because the Bengals didn’t do anything to bolster their depth on the edge this offseason, it seemed like a sign they thought Ossai would be ready for a big role in the defense after his promising preseason last year.
As good as Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard are, the Bengals need a third pass-rusher who consistently gets pressure off the edge to and take attention away from Hendrickson and Hubbard.
Here’s to hoping that’s the case and Ossai gets to show what he’s truly made of for what’s shaping up to be a great defense.