When the Cincinnati Bengals used their No. 28 pick on Clemson Tigers edge rusher Myles Murphy while both Joey Porter Jr. and Michael Mayer were available, many Bengals fans were shocked.
Edge didn’t register on the list of big needs for the Bengals heading into the draft, but tight end and cornerback did, even though Murphy was high on the Bengals’ draft board. They saw him as a top-10 pick that fell right into their laps, and now some recent news we’ve learned about Joseph Ossai could have factored into the Bengals’ decision.
During a Monday player availability, Ossai revealed he had shoulder surgery to repair damage he suffered in the December 11th win over the Cleveland Browns. He ended up not missing any games because of the injury.
#Bengals DE Joseph Ossai said he had shoulder surgery Feb. 8 to repair the labrum he tore in second meeting with Browns. It’s about a 4-5 month rehab, but the rest from that helped his hyperextended knee (from AFC Championship) heal.— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) May 1, 2023
With Ossai, one of the Bengals’ edge rushers, who rotates with Trey Hendrickson, Sam Huber, and others, recovering from surgery, it’s possible that Murphy will have a much larger role earlier in the season than many expected.
Ossai will miss 4-5 months as he rehabs from injury, which means he’ll at least miss the team’s offseason workout program, leaving the door open for Murphy to carve out a larger role early in the season.
Ossai, a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by way of the Texas Longhorns, finished the 2023 season with four sacks, nine quarterback hits, and 19 hurries. He finished the season with an overall PFF grade of 53.7, with a pass-rushing grade of 65. He has two years left on his contract before he hits free agency after the 2024 season.
The labrum is a type of rubbery cartilage that lines the shoulder socket, and tearing it is a common injury in the NFL. It’s the same injury that linebacker Logan Wilson had surgically repaired before the 2022 season in February. He was ready to go by the time the season started, but he did miss all of OTA’s.
With a 4-5-month recovery time, it’s likely we’re looking at the same kind of time frame for Ossai’s return to the team.