Ravens OT Ja’Wuan James could be eyeing a return very soon

Ravens, Ja'Wuan James (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Ravens, Ja'Wuan James (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

When the Baltimore Ravens signed Ja’Wuan James back in June, the initial belief was that he would be sidelined for the entire 2021 season after tearing his Achilles a month earlier.

However, head coach John Harbaugh remained persistent in his belief that James could return at some point this season.

The last update Harbaugh provided came earlier this month when he stated that James had reached the point where he could run and that December was likely the earliest he could be back in action.

And during Thursday’s practice, James was seen working out on the field with a trainer. That’s just another step in his road to recovery, and the best indication we’ve seen to this point that he could return this season.

The Ravens offensive line would benefit from Ja’Wuan James returning

The Ravens’ offensive line has been hit hard by injuries this season. Star left tackle Ronnie Stanley returned from a major ankle injury in Week 1 only to suffer a setback that would force him to miss the rest of the year.

In that same game, starting left guard Tyre Phillips suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss some time. Phillips has since returned and is now starting in place of the injured Patrick Mekari who was only playing right tackle because Alejandro Villanueva had to fill in for Stanley on the left side.

That’s not even including third-round rookie Ben Cleveland who has missed time this year with an injury and remains sidelined.

Simply put, the Ravens’ offensive line has been a mess this season, and a player like James could certainly help them out.

Mekari is expected to return in the near future which will solidify the right tackle spot for the time being. The versatile lineman has exceeded expectations this season and could make a case to stick around at that spot in 2022.

But James’ return will allow the Ravens to have the offensive tackle depth they’ve been missing all year. With James in the picture, the Ravens will be able to move Phillips back full-time to left guard, something they’ve been wanting to do this season.

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The Ravens need depth, and Ja’Wuan James could possibly provide them with that as soon as next month.