Ravens Sign Former First Round OL: Report

Ravens James Carpenter

Getty Former New York Jets guard James Carpenter looks on during a 2017 game against the Buffalo Bills.

The Baltimore Ravens have added offensive guard James Carpenter, a former first-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFL Draft, to their practice squad, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

The signing comes three days after Carpenter worked out for the Ravens, as reported by ESPN’s Field Yates on October 15. He is the second offensive lineman to join the Ravens today, as Baltimore was granted former Dallas Cowboy Brandon Knight off waivers.

Carpenter brings nine years of experience at left guard in the NFL to a Baltimore offensive line that has dealt with a myriad of injuries this season.

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Starting left guard Tyre Phillips injured his knee in the Ravens’ regular season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders on September 13, forcing him onto the injured reserve list.

Third-year lineman Ben Powers and rookie Ben Cleveland shared time at the position in subsequent games until Cleveland suffered a knee injury of his own against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5. He was placed on injured reserve last week.

Phillips was activated from injured reserve this week, though he only played 10 total snaps during the Ravens’ 34-6 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Head coach John Harbaugh provided an ominous update earlier today on All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who suffered a setback to an ankle injury that ended his 2020 season. While initial reports suggested Stanley could rejoin the Ravens later this season, that return now appears in jeopardy with all signs pointing to an extended absence from the 2016 first-round pick.

Carpenter Shores Up Offensive Line

Carpenter has started 121 games at left guard in his nine-year career, including stints with the New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons, as well as the Seattle Seahawks, who selected him with the 25th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Carpenter started for the Seahawks at left guard during Seattle’s 28-24 victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

Last season, he started 13 games for the Falcons, earning a 56.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. Carpenter averaged two quarterback pressures per game last year, but only conceded three sacks in more than 500 pass-blocking snaps.

At a minimum, Carpenter is a reliable offensive guard who provides added depth to a banged-up Ravens offensive line. There’s been no official update on Cleveland’s injury, though the hulking former Georgia Bulldog had to be carted off the field, and Phillips’ minimal usage on Sunday suggest he’s not at 100% yet, either.

Though Carpenter did start at left tackle for two years at the University of Alabama, he has never played the position in the NFL, logging only nine starts as a right tackle in Seattle before moving to left guard full-time.

Ravens Still Uncertain About LG Starter

Though Powers has been steady at left guard for the Ravens since Phillips went down, his rotation with Cleveland suggests that the coaching staff isn’t completely sold on the former Oklahoma Sooner as a full-time starter.

Powers still got the nod on Sunday, despite Phillips’ availability, and turned in a solid performance, keeping quarterback Lamar Jackson clean by only allowing one pressure all game.

He also flattened a defender during the Ravens’ first offensive drive of the game, clearing a path for a Latavius Murray touchdown.

Slow motion footage of the score shows Powers completely overpowering Uchenna Nwosu on the play, pancaking the Chargers’ outside linebacker as Murray dashed by for the 14-yard touchdown.

Even with the highlight block, Powers could soon return to the bench if Phillips is fully-recovered by the Ravens’ Week 7 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

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