The Baltimore Ravens got a mixed bag of developments in regards to a pair of starters on both sides of the ball returning from major injuries on August 26. The great news is that franchise left tackle Ronnie Stanley passed his physical and was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform List.
The former First Team All-Pro has been cleared to resume football activities and is eligible to return to practice. This mark a significant milestone for the seven-year veteran offensive lineman in what has been a long journey in his recovery from a severe ankle injury he suffered midway through the 2020 season. He was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of that year and was limited to just one game in 2021 before suffering a setback that landed him back on IR, cutting a second consecutive season short.
When healthy, Stanley is one of the best and most complete players at his position in the entire league and is truly elite in terms of his pass protection. While this news is extremely exciting, he still might be out on the field protecting Lamar Jackson’s blindside in the 2022 regular season opener. In a press conference on August 23, 2022, head coach John Harbaugh said he typically likes players returning from injury to practice for two to three weeks before playing in a game.
If Stanley returns to practice on Monday, August 29, 2022, he’d have exactly two weeks worth of practices before the team travels to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Jets on Sunday, September 11, 2022. He has been in the team facility and adjacent practice field conditioning and getting back into ‘football shape’ since training camp began and the team likes where he is from a physical standpoint.
“I watched Ronnie out here before practice with the trainer. He looks like he’s in really good shape,” Harbaugh said.
Tyus Bowser to Miss at Least First 4 Games
While Stanley has a shot to play in the season opener and if not, at least Week 2 when the Ravens host the Miami Dolphins, starting outside linebacker Tyus Bowser will miss nearly the entire first month of the season after being placed on the reserve/PUP list.
He will miss at least the first four games of the season and be eligible to return for the team’s first divisional game in Week 5 when they host the 2021 AFC North and AFC Conference champion Cincinnati Bengals for a primetime matchup in primetime at M&T Bank Stadium on October 9, 2022.
Internal & External Options at OLB
Since Bowser is officially ruled out for the first four weeks of the 2022 season and given that second-round rookie David Ojabo is recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in March, that leaves the Ravens with just four healthy edge defenders that are locks to make the roster.
Undrafted rookies Chuck Wiley and Jeremiah Moon are competing to make the team as a possible fifth. Wiley recorded 1.5 sacks in the Ravens’ win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 of the preseason while Moon hasn’t really flashed through two exhibition games. The Ravens will certainly be monitoring the waiver wire for players at the position after the final rounds of cuts for some players that fit their scheme.
They could also acquire an edge rusher from a team with a surplus of quality depth options like the Jacksonville Jaguars who could be willing to trade 2020 first-round pick, K’Lavon Chaisson, after taking Trevon Walker out of Georgia with the top overall pick in this year’s draft. Another trade target could be Chaisson’s former LSU teammate Clelin Ferrell who was drafted with the fourth overall pick the year before in 2019 by the Las Vegas Raiders and can lineup on the edge and move inside in sub-packages or on obvious passing downs.
Some free agent options still on the open market include Jason Pierre-Paul who they had in for a visit during the summer, Dee Ford who can still be very effective when healthy, and Tre Flowers who could be looking for a place to bounce back after a couple of injury-plagued and underwhelming seasons with the Detroit Lions the last two years.