James was signed to a two-year, $9 million contract by the Ravens back in June after he was released by the Denver Broncos following a torn Achilles.
James’ time in Denver was marred by injuries and his torn Achilles was just his latest ailment. When the Ravens signed the former first-round pick, the belief was that he might be able to return at some point late in the season.
And that still seems to be the case.
Head coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media on Monday and provided an update on James’ status.
"”It’s still the same timeframe. He would have a chance in December probably, I guess. There’s been no setbacks. He looks good. I see him walking around. He’s in the meetings. He’s got great spirits. He’s been running straight ahead. It’s November already. Time flies, right? The days are long, but the years are short.”"
The Ravens believe Ja’Wuan James could return next month
Harbaugh’s update was more or less affirmation that everything with James is on schedule. He hasn’t suffered any setbacks and, if all goes according to plan, he could return to the field as soon as next month.
That would give him a pretty impressive seven-month recovery after one of the most devastating injuries a football player can suffer.
Not only that, but James’ return would provide a major boost to a Ravens offensive line that has dealt with its first share of injuries.
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is out for the season while right tackle Patrick Mekari is currently sidelined with a high-ankle sprain.
That leaves Alejandro Villanueva, who has battled injuries of his own this season, at left tackle and likely Week 1 starting left guard Tyre Phillips at right tackle.
The Ravens could look to make a move before the trade deadline to provide extra depth, but James’ return would no doubt help matters.
The former Miami Dolphins standout has started 65 career games at right tackle, and there’s a reason he signed that hefty four-year, $51 million contract with the Broncos in the first place.
When healthy, Ja’Wuan James has been a good player. And the Ravens certainly stand to benefit from his return.