The Baltimore Ravens had a pair of key players leave their Week 11 victory over the Carolina Panthers with lower extremity injuries and didn’t return. Stud rookie safety Kyle Hamilton left in the first half with a knee injury and All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley left in the second half after his surgically repaired ankle got rolled up on.
Neither player came back in the game and immediately afterward, head coach John Harbaugh didn’t have an update in his postgame press conference which can be a good thing because serious injuries can often be determined by preliminary testing without X-rays and MRIs.
Even though he still didn’t have any definitive answers on the status of either player moving forward at his press conference the day after on November 21, 2022, the developments he did share were encouraging.
“We don’t have the final word on those things yet, but I would say it’s definitely trending in the right direction based on what we know so far,” Harbaugh said.
He said the X-rays on Hamilton’s knee came back and showed that it is stable. They are still waiting on the MRI results on Stanley’s ankle Harbaugh shared that “it was trending really well last night and this morning.”
Starting quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke with his franchise blindside protector after the game he seemed to be in good spirits and optimistic about the severity of his injury.
“I checked on him, but he said he’s pretty good,” Jackson said in his postgame press conference. “He told me just don’t fall into him. So, it was me who hurt him, so I’m a little [ticked] off about that, but he’s good. That’s all that matters.”
Thankfully, the Ravens have vastly improved depth at offensive tackle than they did last year even after losing veteran Ja’Wuan James in the season opener. Stanley was replaced in the starting lineup by ‘do-it-all’ super-sub Patrick Mekari who finished the game and played solid. They also have rookie Daniel Faalele who they selected in the fourth round and played a game and a half at left tackle in Weeks 3 and 4.
“Huge shoutout to Patrick Mekari,” veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler said in postgame comments. “His ability to play every position on the [offensive] line. He’s always ready. He’s played so many positions this year already, and also last year. We’re truly blessed that we have him on our team, and we know he can go out there and give everything that we need him to.”
Hamilton has been a Swiss army knife defensive back for the Ravens defense over the last month and a half, shining in a multifaceted role that included playing in the slot, on the edge, and all over the place in space. He was having a great game before exiting and being replaced in the game by second-year pro Brandon Stephens who played well and finished with two solo tackles and one pass breakup.
Ravens Hope to Have Gus Edwards Back in Week 12
The Ravens had one of their key offensive starters return from injury this past week after being listed as questionable to play on the final injury report in tight end Mark Andrew but their top running back on the active roster “just couldn’t get to the game.”
Edwards has been dealing with a mild hamstring injury he suffered in the second half of the team’s Week 8 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It caused him to miss the team’s game the following week against the New Orleans Saints ahead of their bye week. Despite being a limited participant in the week of practice leading up to the Panthers’ game, he just wasn’t quite ready in the eyes of his head coach and training staff.
“He just couldn’t do it, and you could see it; I could see it in practice on Friday and Thursday,” Harbaugh said. “So, we’ll hold out the same hope this week. I think he’ll get there, but he just has to be right. A guy has to be ready to go and be at his best.”
Even though they still rushed for over 100 yards as a team, the Ravens could’ve really used the services of ‘Gus the Bus’ this past Sunday. They averaged just 3.8 yards per carry and their ground game didn’t start gaining some consistent traction until the second half when they started utilizing more draws and other running plays out of shotgun.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a defense that ranks in the top 10 in run defense but has been susceptible to surrounding a lot of yards on the ground to top rushing attacks. Having Edwards back in Week 12 would go a long way toward helping them triumph more convincingly over a lesser opponent after they had to grind out a 13-3 win over the Panthers in Week 11.
Veteran WR DeSean Jackson is Healing Slower Than Expected
The seasoned speedster is also dealing with a hamstring injury that occurred a week after Edwards suffered his in the team’s Week 9 win over the Saints. He missed the entire week of practice leading up to the Panthers game and wasn’t elevated to the active roster as his recovery has taken longer than anticipated.
“It wasn’t supposed to be real bad, but it just hasn’t quite come back as fast as you want it to,” Harbaugh said. “So, he’s working really hard to bring it back. He’s a little older, [so] it probably does a little bit more time – I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for saying that – but he’s working at it. He’s going to be back hopefully this week. We’ll see.”
In his lone appearance this season, Jackson recorded one catch on two targets for 16 yards in his Ravens debut. His other target came deep down the field on a broken play and he also had a 23-yard reception negated by a penalty.
The Ravens have been missing a consistent deep threat in their offense since losing second-year wideout Rashod Bateman who just underwent successful Lisfranc foot surgery on Monday. He averaged 19 yards per reception in six games and while Jackson still possesses the blazing speed to take the top off opposing defenses, he’ll need to get back on the field and stay healthy in order for the Ravens to capitalize on it.