Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley to make long-awaited return in Week 5

Ravens, Ronnie Stanley Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Ronnie Stanley Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens have been awaiting the return of left tackle Ronnie Stanley for well over a year at this point. That wait is due to end on Sunday with Stanley set to return to the gridiron.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo reported Saturday night that Stanley is finally set to return from injury in the team’s Sunday Night Football matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The last two years have been a roller coaster for Stanely who received a five-year, $112.8 million contract that made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL only to suffer a devastating ankle injury just a few days later.

That ankle injury has kept him sidelined for essentially the last two years, save for an injury-riddled appearance in Week 1 of last season. Now, Stanley is back. This time, the Ravens hope it’s for good.

What should the Ravens expect from Ronnie Stanley?

It’s hard to know what to expect from Stanley given how much time he’s missed. Prior to his injury, Stanley was arguably the best left tackle in the NFL and was fresh off a first-team All-Pro selection the year prior.

Unfortunately, the NFL world hasn’t been able to see that version of Stanley play since that infamous Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Stanley’s “return” last season was marred by a disappointing performance in which it was clear that the former first-round pick wasn’t fully healthy. The Ravens agreed with that notion and soon after shut him down for the remainder of the season.

Stanley has been slowly working himself into playing condition over the last few months, specifically the last month or so upon his return to practice.

The Ravens weren’t going to throw Stanley out there unless they were 110% confident in his health and ability. That said, expecting the All-Pro version of Stanley right away (or anytime soon) wouldn’t be wise.

It’s going to take some time for Stanley to get up to speed again. At this point, it’s probably best to just hope for no further setbacks and that Stanley holds his own on Sunday.

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Either way, it’s just great to have Stanley back after everything he’s been through over the last two years. Welcome back, Ronnie Stanley.