When the Baltimore Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers just a few Sundays ago, the team got back their full Week 1 starting offensive line for the first time in what felt like forever. The line of Ronnie Stanley, Alex Lewis, Jeremy Zuttah, Marshal Yanda and Rick Wagner looked very promising, especially with the season now in its stretch run. The play of offensive lines become more important as we head to December.
Unfortunately, just a few days later, that line would crumble once again. Marshal Yanda missed practice leading up to the Cleveland Browns game last Thursday night and he was inactive with a shoulder injury. During the game last Thursday night, rookie left guard Alex Lewis suffered a high ankle sprain during the team's last play of their first touchdown drive after he got rolled up. It was revealed that Lewis will be out for six weeks and their is no guarantee he will be back at all this season.
With the line scrambling again last week, the Ravens looked to a familiar backup guard to help propel the offense during the second half of the game. That man was three year veteran and ultimate math wizard John Urschel. Urschel stepped in for the injured Lewis on Thursday night and will likely be the Ravens left guard for the remainder of the season. Urschel has been old reliable for the Ravens and can always be called upon whenever he is needed.
Urschel was drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft and since then, he as added valuable depth and versatility to the team's offensive line. He has played both guard positions and center during his three year stint in Baltimore and has started a total of 13 games. This total will increase as he now takes over for the injured Lewis.
Urschel will answer the call once again, but this one might be a bit tougher now that the Ravens are entering the stretch run and their push for the playoffs which starts this Sunday afternoon against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. After the Cowboys, the Ravens play the Cincinnati Bengals twice, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Urschel and company will have a tough task ahead of them as we draw closer and closer to the conclusion of the season. Not to mention that Urschel will have to help and communicate with rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley to solidify the left side of the offensive line in Lewis's absence.
The Ravens did get some good news on the offensive line on Wednesday when Marshal Yanda returned to practice and was a full participant, which bodes well for his possible return in this huge game on Sunday afternoon. The right side of the offensive line looks to be in full force for Sunday, can Urschel help do the same for the other side? Now is Urschel's chance to prove it and truly show how valuable he is to the Ravens.