Even though he was not actively participating in team drills at mandatory minicamp, veteran Romeo Okwara was present to observe all of the activities out on the football field.
Last season, Okwara tore his Achilles in Week 4 and missed the remainder of the 2021 season.
Despite his severe injury, his position coach Kelvin Sheppard explained during the season just how involved Okwara remained, even while he was just recovering from his surgery.
“He texted me things from the game that you might see,” Sheppard said last season. “How can he help still from home, from the training room. ‘Seeing if there’s anything I can do. I’m there for you and the guys.’ So that guy is all-in still.”
New defensive line coach Todd Wash explained that when the 27-year-old returns, he will resume his career as a defensive end in Aaron Glenn’s defense.
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“He’s a defensive end,” Wash told reporters. “He’ll play a rush position in base, and the end or the rush in sub packages. So, he’s a defensive end. He has the ability, once we get our roster solidified and stuff, he can play some SAM in base, but once again, get him healthy and we’re just going to play him at D-end.
“He’s not completely healthy yet, but with an Achilles, there’s guys that have come back real quick and haven’t missed a beat. And the way he works, and the way he prepares himself physically, we anticipate we’ll get the Romeo back that we know.”
In 2020, Okwara recorded 10 sacks and three forced fumbles, with 61 total pressures.
His performance earned him a three-year, $37 million contract extension.