Baltimore Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley and wide receiver Chris Matthews both suffered injuries in the Ravens August 6 practice at M&T Bank Stadium, adding to an ever-growing list of Ravens falling to injuries.
Baltimore Beatdown’s own Kyle P Barber writes that the Ravens have 14 injured players. Notable players hurt include Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman, Terrell Suggs, Dennis Pitta, Timmy Jernigan, Chris Moore, Jimmy Smith and Crockett Gillmore in addition to recently injured Stanley and Matthews.
Stanley suffered a soft tissue injury during individual drills on Saturday night. His injury is obviously a big concern, as the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is penciled in to start this season, but Stanley doesn’t seem to worried.
"I'm not concerned," Stanley said (per Jamison Hensley via ESPN). "Minor setback. It's nothing major."
Hensley reports that while Stanley could miss time, the Ravens have not ruled him out for the Ravens August 11 matchup against the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. Once Stanley left the field, fourth round rookie Alex Lewis took over as the starting left tackle.
While Stanley is out, the Ravens offensive line depth will be tested. The Ravens drafted Lewis as a tackle, but the team wants to use him as a guard. John Urschel was already in line to start in the open left guard slot anyway, and Lewis having snaps at a different position could all but assure Urschel of the job.
Urschel starting at guard and Lewis at tackle would, however, leave just Ryan Jensen and James Hurst as the only backups with experience in the Ravens system, and neither of them are reliable options if anything were to happen to Urschel or Lewis.
Matthews also suffered a soft tissue injury, but his looks to be more serious than Stanley’s. Matthews is yet another wide receiver to fall to injury as part of a problematic trend.
Matthews joins Steve Smith, Perriman and Moore on the list of injured receivers. The Ravens released an initial depth chart on August 6 which listed Mike Wallace and Kamar Aiken as the starters. While that is a solid group of starters, the team could have an extreme lack of depth at the position if any of the four injured receivers misses extended time.
Matthews has been performing extremely well in camp, and this setback could be devastating to a player fighting to make the 53 man roster.
The Ravens went into this offseason with the mindset of needing to add depth. Injuries derailed the season last year, and the Ravens wanted to have the depth to overcome similar injuries this year. Unfortunately, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome’s offseason plan is already being tested to the max.