CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai‘s status for offseason workouts remains uncertain as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.
On Monday, Ossai told local reporters he had surgery in February to repair a torn shoulder labrum sustained in the Week 14 win over the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 11. The former Texas standout entering his third season said the recovery timeline is estimated at around four to five months but he is expected to be back before the team starts training camp.
His workload for offseason workouts and organized team activities is yet to be determined.
“If it was up to me, I’m ready to go,” Ossai told reporters.
Ossai, a 2021 third-round pick who missed his entire first season with a knee injury suffered in the preseason, played in all 16 games in 2022. He had 17 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a rotational defensive lineman for the Bengals. A brace allowed Ossai to continue the season despite the shoulder injury, he said Monday. Ossai said the surgery to repair the labrum wasn’t a pressing need but the shoulder was at risk of popping out of place without the procedure.
Ossai had the procedure done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who repaired torn knee ligaments for Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and offensive tackle La’el Collins. Ossai said he suffered a hyperextended knee in the AFC Championship Game loss to Kansas City. The knee hyperextension required six weeks of rest, he told reporters, which also coincided with his labrum recovery.
In the final drive of the game, Ossai was slow to get up after he brought down Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, which resulted in a 15-yard penalty that moved the ball closer for the game-winning field goal in the Chiefs’ 23-20 victory. Ossai’s game against Kansas City was arguably the best of his young career. He had a team-high five quarterback pressures, according to ESPN Stats & Information, which was also the high mark for his 2022 season.
Ossai said he’s looking forward to being in a position to make amends and help the Bengals win the AFC title for the second time in three years.
“I’ve had a long time to think about that and I’m still to this day processing the mistake, but that’s in the past,” Ossai told reporters. “Now I’m looking forward to getting back out there and writing that wrong. It’s going to take a lot to right that wrong. But the ultimate [thing] would be going back and winning that thing and then obviously going back to the Super Bowl.”