Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley’s ankle injury is ‘not serious’
As great and exhilarating as the Baltimore Ravens dominant 38-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns was, they didn’t exactly come out of it unscathed. They had a pair of 2019 First Team All-Pros leave the game at different times and while cornerback Marlon Humphrey returned to action after getting his shoulder checked out, left tackle Ronnie Stanley did not after going down with ankle injury in the third quarter after getting it rolled up on.
While it is never good to see your best offensive lineman and arguably the most important player on that side of the ball outside of reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson leave the game with an injury and not return for the remainder of the contest, according to Head Coach John Harbaugh, it’s not much to worry about for now and he isn’t expected to miss much if any time.
“It’s not a serious injury,” Harbaugh said. “Just a little tightening up there. He got rolled on. It’s not a serious injury to my knowledge right now. (I) don’t expect it to become one tomorrow.”
Stanley was spotted walking around on the sideline gingerly after being initially examined as though he was seeing how much weight he could put on his injured ankle. As bad as it was not to see him back on the field, it was good that he didn’t need to walk or carted back to the locker room for further evaluation. Veteran offensive lineman DJ Fluker, who the team signed this offseason to compete for the starting right guard spot, replaced him in the lineup at left tackle.
Even though the Ravens were able to continue cruising in the second half without their star blindside protector in the game, the pass protection did give more way to the Browns pass rush and Jackson was pressured a bit more.
Stanley established himself as one of the best pass protectors in the league last season by not allowing a single sack and only allowing six pressures all year long. He’s poised to become possibly the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league when his contract expires after this season and to be without him for an extended period of time would be a significant blow to a team with championship aspirations but at least for the time being, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Stanley is a key cog into what the Ravens are able to do on offense thanks to his generational blend of athleticism, strength, and masterful technique. Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman expounded on just what makes him so special during his press conference on Thursday.
“It starts with his athleticism,” Roman said. “He’s gotten a lot stronger, which I really think has allowed his game to take a big jump the past year, year-and-a-half. And knowledge of the game; he’s very intelligent. I was here with Jonathan Ogden, who’s probably one of the smartest players I’ve ever been around. Ronnie’s knowledge and experience are climbing, and he’s very intelligent when it comes to football.”
“The ‘X-factor’ – meaning experience – has really factored into a classic story of a guy with a lot of talent, who was young when he first got into the league, was able to go out and play and let experience be his guide. So, we’re really happy where he’s at and have really high expectations for Ronnie.”