What are the Ravens options following the Ja’Wuan James injury?

Ravens, Ja'Wuan James Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Ja'Wuan James Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens emerged victorious in their first game of the season, defeating the New York Jets by a final score of 24-9. Unfortunately, in the process, they likely lost left tackle Ja’Wuan James for the season due to a torn Achilles.

It’s the second torn Achilles that James has suffered within the last two seasons and it comes at a brutal time for the Ravens who are already dealing with injury concerns regarding starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley.

Stanley was held out of the Ravens’ Week 1 game prompting James, who hadn’t played in an NFL game since 2019, to take over at left tackle. The 30-year-old veteran was carted off in the second quarter after he was injured blocking Jets rookie defensive end Micheal Clemons.

The versatile Patrick Mekari stepped in for James and finished the game at left tackle. With James likely done for the year, what options do the Ravens have at left tackle?

The Ravens need to hope Ronnie Stanley is healthy after the Ja’Wuan James injury

First and foremost, the Ravens need to hope and pray that Ronnie Stanley is healthy and available to play in Week 2. Stanley has played just one game since suffering a devastating ankle injury in 2020 and was unable to play this week as he continued his rehab.

The Ravens did see Stanley return to the practice field this past week, although he’s participated in just three practices this summer. The hope is that he’s ready for Week 2, but that’s far from a given.

If Stanley is unable to play, the Ravens will likely be forced to lean on Mekari again at left tackle. The versatile veteran seemed to play well in James’ place and should be able to hold down the fort until Stanely is able to play.

The only other tackle on the Ravens’ roster is rookie Daniel Faalele who was a healthy scratch on Sunday. Faalele is almost exclusively a left tackle which could prompt Morgan Moses (another primary right tackle) to move over to the left side if something were to happen to Mekari.

The Ravens also have veteran David Sharpe down on the practice squad and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him elevated if not promoted to the active roster this week.

The Ravens have options, but the Ja’Wuan James injury is undoubtedly a significant blow to the team’s offensive line depth.

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The team better hope that Stanley can return soon and show signs of his pre-injury self. If not, the Ravens might have a serious problem at left tackle.