Injuries are the most inconvenient part of the NFL for players, teams and fans, and the Baltimore Ravens have had to deal with their fair share the last few seasons.
Amongst the biggest has been the ongoing recovery of offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley. Lost to an ankle injury midway through the 2020 season, Stanley has been taking his time recovering in hopes of being ready for the 2021 season. As it stands now, that looks like it will be the case, but getting there still bears monitoring for the team the rest of the summer.
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Bleacher Report put together a new piece detailing all of the biggest questions across the league heading into training camp and the health of Stanley was Brad Gagnon’s biggest Ravens issue to remember.
“It’s clear that the Baltimore Ravens’ chances of breaking through in the AFC Super Bowl race are linked to the success of 2019 MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, which is why the Ravens have bolstered his support this offseason.
How a new-look offensive line comes together will be a big part of that, and veterans Kevin Zeitler and Alejandro Villanueva will have to get acclimated quickly. But that’s less of a focus than the health of standout left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in November.
Stanley didn’t participate in the team’s offseason program but is “on schedule” to return for training camp “as long as there are no setbacks,” according to head coach John Harbaugh.
That’s promising, but it’s worth monitoring closely because Jackson and the Ravens desperately need their 27-year-old 2019 first-team All-Pro throughout the 2021 campaign.”
It was no surprise that Stanley’s absence coincided with a downturn in play from the offensive line as a whole and the Baltimore offense. Getting Stanley back up to par has to be considered a huge goal for the team, and the hope is that the lineman is ready for camp in a month’s time.
Ravens Signed Stanley to Massive 2020 Extension
During the middle of last season just before his injury, Stanley was the beneficiary of the team’s generosity. Stanley signed a five-year contract worth $98.75 million dollars last October.
Stanley’s extension is also massive from the standpoint of guaranteed money. As Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network explained, the deal is worth over $70 million in guaranteed money for the lineman. That also includes a whopping $22.5 million dollar signing bonus for the player.
Obviously, Stanley is a player who is worth the money considering what he’s meant to the Ravens’ offense early in his career. He’s been a true force up front and a player the team is counting on to pave the way for Lamar Jackson and the offense into the future.
There is the hope that Stanley can return healthy and return to form so that this deal can continue to look solid when all is said and done. Last season, the timing was unfortunate, so the Ravens would probably prefer Stanley to rebound very quickly.
Ronnie Stanley Stats
There’s little question that Stanley has earned his money and all the hype he gets. A first round pick in 2016 out of Notre Dame, Stanley cracked his first Pro Bowl and received his first time All-Pro nod in 2019. He’s played in 56 games so far in his career and has started every single one. Since making the jump to the NFL, Stanley has been called an elite pass blocker and one of the best young offensive linemen in the NFL.
Getting a healthy Stanley back into the fold would be huge for the Ravens, so the team wants to see him come back to training camp for 2021 and be ready for a new season.