Ravens provide update on notable injured players
The Baltimore Ravens overcame a lot of adversity in 2020 from a COVID-19 outbreak that threatened to derail their season at one point to season-ending injuries to several key players on both sides of the ball.
The three most notable players that are recovering from major injuries are All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley, blocking tight Nick Boyle, and stud nickel cornerback Tavon Young.
Each went down at different and inopportune times during the year and forced the team to adapt and adjust on the fly. Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Wednesday that all three are progressing well in their respective rehabilitation processes and is confident that they will be available at the onset of the offseason program.
“I think training camp – but I’m going to say that loosely – at the latest,” Harbaugh said. “I’m sure some guys will be back in the OTAs too, before that. But my understanding is those guys should be in good shape, across the board.”
Stanley was the biggest of the season after he went down with an ankle injury in Week Eight and even though Orlando Brown Jr was able to slide over and perform at a high level in his stead, it put the starting offensive line in flux and led to a heavy rotation at right tackle between veteran DJ Fluker and rookie Tyre Phillips.
While each had their bright spots and even dominant moments as run blockers, their pass protection was severely lacking for most of the year and especially in the playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Stanley had inked a lucrative multi-year contract extension worth nearly $20 million annually and $64,166,000 million fully guaranteed days before he was lost for the year.
The return to the franchise’s stalwart blindside protector to the lineup will be a tremendous uplift for a passing offense looking to significantly improve their execution in 2021.
Young was lost for the year for a second straight season and for the third time in his five-year career in Week Two with a knee injury.
It forced two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey to split time inside and out wide serving as the primary slot corner against multiple receiver sets.
When Young is healthy, he is a playmaker and key cog in the game plan of Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale every week.
Baltimore already boasts arguably the best and deepest secondary in the league when healthy and his return to form would only further solidify their claim as the top defensive backfield in the game.
“I can’t wait to be on the field again with Tavon Young,” Humphrey said after the season ended. “I’m really excited about that. I know he’ll come off the injury nice and strong.”
Boyle’s ability as a devastating blocker has been just as vital to the team’s historic rushing success over the last two seasons as anyone. He often serves and plays like an offensive lineman when he lines up on the end of either side of the or in the backfield.
His one-on-one and combination blocks have helped the offense shatter records. In Week 10, he too suffered a season-ending knee injury and forced the team to change the way they ran the ball going forward for the remainder of the year.
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman started utilizing more spread concepts and handing the ball off their speedy offensive skill players on sweeps and jet motion.
Harbaugh said that the injuries that Stanley and Boyle suffered were “pretty serious” and that they face lengthy recoveries, however, he still anticipates that both will be ready in time for the 2021 season opener.