Ravens injury report: Two starting offensive linemen return to practice
By Justin Fried
The Baltimore Ravens have dealt with a number of injuries to their offensive line so far this season with as many as three starts dealing with injuries. But they could be set to receive some reinforcements in the near future.
On Saturday, the Ravens returned two starting offensive linemen to practice in Alejandro Villanueva and Tyre Phillips.
Villanueva had been sidelined all week with a knee injury that he suffered in the team’s Week 4 victory over the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, Phillips has been on the injured reserve since being carted off with a knee injury in Week 1.
Villanueva has a chance to play this week and was listed as questionable on the final Ravens injury report. Phillips, on the other hand, has been designated to return from IR and has 21 days to officially be activated.
Unfortunately, the Ravens were still without left tackle Ronnie Stanley who remains sidelined after suffering a setback with his ankle in Week 1.
There is no current timetable for his return.
The Ravens offensive line could be getting some reinforcements soon
Villanueva has never missed a game in his NFL career suiting up for all 100 contests and starting 94 consecutive games. That streak is definitely in jeopardy this week with the veteran tackle only practicing in limited capacity on Saturday.
Still, the extra day off could prove useful for the Ravens in this case. If the Ravens were playing on Sunday, it’s highly unlikely that Villanueva would have been able to play.
If he’s forced to miss Monday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, it’s likely that Andre Smith — who filled in for Villanueva when he went down — would step into a starting role for the first time in nearly two years.
Baltimore could also turn to other practice squad players such as David Sharpe, Adrian Ealy, or Jaryd Jones-Smith in an attempt to provide some much-needed depth to the position.
It will be interesting to see what role Phillips plays upon his return. The 2020 third-round pick started Week 1 at left guard, but in his absence, Ben Powers and Ben Cleveland have successfully held down the fort.
The Ravens could really use Phillips more at offensive tackle, especially if Villanueva’s knee injury lingers. He might be more valuable as a backup guard and swing tackle than in the starting lineup at left guard.
Either way, the returns of Villanueva and Phillips are certainly good news for a Ravens team that will take any positive injury news that they can get.