But after undergoing two surgeries on his injured ankle this offseason, Stanley appears to be well on his way to returning before the start of the 2021 season.
Head coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media following Tuesday’s minicamp practice and he gave an update on Stanely’s status.
Harbaugh said that Stanley is “on schedule” and “should be ready to open the season.” He didn’t give a specific timeframe nor did he indicate if Stanley would be available for training camp, but the Ravens clearly expect to have their All-Pro left tackle back by Week 1.
The Ravens expect to have Ronnie Stanley ready for Week 1.
The sixth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Stanley emerged as one of the best left tackles in football following a spectacular 2019 season.
He carried over that success into 2020 where he was his usual dominant self through the first six games of the year. Unfortunately, a devastating ankle injury suffered in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers ended his season prematurely.
And as a result, the entire offensive line suffered.
Orlando Brown Jr. was moved to left tackle while the duo of veteran D.J. Fluker and rookie Tyre Phillips split time at right tackle. Meanwhile, the center position was a mess and cost the team on numerous occasions.
The hope is that Baltimore’s offseason additions and a returning Stanley could elevate an offensive line that struggled at times last season.
Stanley will be joined by free-agent signings Kevin Zeitler and Alejandro Villanueva to help complete a new-look offensive line.
Third-round pick Ben Cleveland is also the favorite to start at left guard which will allow Bradley Bozeman to slide inside to center. Thus far in spring practices, Bozeman has had no issues at his new/old position.
The Ravens offensive line has the chance to be much improved in 2021, but a lot of that will depend on Stanley’s health.
If he could return healthy and prove that he hasn’t missed a step, Baltimore could have one of the better offensive lines in football this season.
Here’s to hoping Stanley is not only ready to play Week 1, but that he’s the same player he was before his injury.