The Ravens fell two games behind the Steelers in the AFC North with their loss Sunday, and they got some even worse news immediately after the game. Head coach John Harbaugh announced to reporters that left tackle Ronnie Stanley would miss the rest of the season with a “severe ankle injury.” The official diagnosis: A fractured and dislocated ankle that also likely includes torn ligaments (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Although he faces a long road to recovery, Stanley is expected to be back and ready in time for the 2021 season.
It’s an especially brutal blow for a team that has built its identity around dominating in the trenches. Stanley had been pretty durable up to this point, starting at least 14 games each of the past three seasons. Fortunately for Stanley he wrapped up his long-term financial security just in the nick of time, as he signed a five-year, $99 million extension only a couple of days ago. If it had to happen, at least he got paid first.
The Notre Dame product was drafted sixth overall back in 2016, and the high draft pick has panned out for Baltimore. He was outstanding last season, earning first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections. When Stanley went down 2018 third-rounder Orlando Brown Jr. slid over from right tackle to left, with veteran D.J. Fluker taking over from Brown.
Presumably that’ll be the situation moving forward, with Brown manning Lamar Jackson‘s blindside. Stanley is only 26, and should still just be entering the prime of his career. Even assuming it’s a bad fracture with his ankle, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be 100 percent by the time the 2021 season rolls around.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.