It’s time for the Ravens to be concerned about Ronnie Stanley

Ravens, Ronnie Stanley (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Ronnie Stanley (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

It’s been nearly two years since Baltimore Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley suffered a devastating ankle injury in a Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

At the time, Stanley had just signed a record-setting five-year, $112.8 million contract that made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL just days earlier. Since signing that contract, Stanley has suited up for two games including the fateful night he was injured.

The Ravens, of course, tried to put Stanley back on the field last year only to discover that the same ankle injury was plaguing him again. He was shut down after Week 1 and has been sidelined since.

Stanley remains on the PUP list as we approach the end of August, and as the days go by, it becomes less and less likely that he’s able to play Week 1 against the New York Jets.

It’s officially time to be concerned about Ronnie Stanley, both as it pertains to 2022 and potentially even his future with the team.

What’s next for the Ravens and Ronnie Stanley?

With a little over two weeks to go until the start of the regular season, time is running out for Stanley to be activated off the PUP list. Even when he’s activated, the Ravens will still likely force him to go through a 1-2 week ramp-up period before he’s cleared to play.

There’s still a chance that he’s activated as soon as this week, but it’s hard to be optimistic given what has transpired over the last calendar year.

The Ravens believed that Stanley was healthy enough to play Week 1 last season, only to shut him down immediately after the game once it became clear that he was far from 100 percent.

The former All-Pro is now 10 months removed from his second ankle surgery in as many seasons and there’s been no sign that he’s nearing a return. Head coach John Harbaugh continues to insist that the team is pleased with the progress he’s made, but again, that’s similar to what the team said last year.

So where do we go from here? If Stanley is forced to miss Week 1 (and potentially even more time), what happens next? In the short term, it would likely be veteran Ja’Wuan James who would start in place of Stanley at left tackle.

James is a capable player, but he too has dealt with major injury concerns in recent years and hasn’t played an NFL game in nearly three years. Expecting him to be the player he was prior to his injury trouble would be foolish, especially given that he has limited experience at left tackle.

The Ravens still hope that Ronnie Stanley could not only return to the field but return to the player that he was prior to his injury. They still see him as a part of their future plans.

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There’s no reason to give up on a player as talented as he is just yet. Not even close. But concern? Yeah, that’s definitely reasonable. The time for blind optimism is over as it pertains to Stanley’s health.