We’ve seen this scenario play out many times before for the Baltimore Ravens. A veteran defensive player with a winning pedigree joins the team and makes an impact. Safety Eric Weddle and cornerback Marcus Peters are some of the recent veterans that come to mind. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy is the latest one.
Baltimore signed Van Noy, a ninth-year veteran to their 53-man roster last week, after placing outside linebacker David Ojabo (knee/ankle) on injured reserve. Ojabo will be out for the next four games. Van Noy made his Ravens debut in their 28-3 win over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. He came through with several pressures, a quarterback hit and pass break-up.
“He played pretty amazing [with] what he did,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “He came in there … He showed up [on] Tuesday on the red-eye [flight] and was out there taking a bunch of snaps on Sunday in a huge AFC North game, and that just shows you what kind of player he is. It’s a credit to what kind of shape he was in.”
The way Van Noy was able to make an immediate impact is a testament to his veteran status. In nine NFL seasons, Van Noy has recorded 33.5 sacks, with at least five sacks in each of the past four seasons, 47 tackles for loss, 10 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries.
Van Noy is a proven winner, having been a part of the New England Patriots that won Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl LIII.
He spent last season with the Los Angeles Chargers after signing a one-year deal worth $2.25 million. He finished the season with five sacks, three pass deflections, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Adding a veteran like Van Noy this late in the season is a win for Baltimore. Harbaugh was impressed with how Van Noy understood the defensive game plan and picked it up quickly. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald agrees.
“He [Kyle Van Noy] is an impressive guy,” Macdonald said. “He’s already got third-down thoughts and stuff like that. But it seems like he’s been in this defense for however long. Similar to when Roquan [Smith] showed up here; it’s like, ‘OK. This dude, he knows his stuff.’ So, he’s an impressive guy all the way around. Obviously, [he’s] a great football player from what we’ve seen already on the practice field, and he has a great track record.”
Van Noy had a productive week of practice that led to him playing 33% of the defensive snaps against Cleveland.
With Ojabo on the mend, Van Noy will get more opportunities in the coming weeks.