The Baltimore Ravens took another blow on the injury front Monday night. Rookie offensive guard Ben Cleveland was carted off the field in the first half of the team’s thrilling comeback win over the Indianapolis Colts in primetime. He did not return to the game.
On Tuesday, the team announced that he was going on short-term injured reserve.
We have placed Ben Cleveland on IR. pic.twitter.com/Yz2Jum2gmr— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 12, 2021
Cleveland was selected in the third round of this year’s draft out of Georgia with the No. 94 overall pick. He is the latest player to join a long list of Ravens to be placed on IR, bringing the team’s total to 16 — tied with the Tennessee Titans for the most in the league according to spotrac.com.
The rookie competed for the starting left guard spot in training camp and was rotating with third-year pro Ben Powers in the starting lineup this season. A knee injury to 2020 third-round pick Tyre Phillips in Week 1 opened the for Cleveland to receive playing time. Phillips returned to practice for the first time on Saturday and could be in line to make a timely return as soon as this upcoming week if he’s ready.
Cleveland was coming along well in his development through his first three-and-a-half career games. Thankfully, his injury isn’t a season-ender and the first-year offensive lineman is optimistic that he will be back in action sooner rather later.
To every one who tweeted, texted, called or prayed for me last night, thank you. It means the world to know that #theflock stands behind their players the way they do! Positive news from the doctors today so we’ll be back soon and better than ever! #GoRavens— Big Country (@BenCleveland74) October 12, 2021
The Ravens’ offensive line has been in a seemingly constant state of flux dating back to the offseason program. There still is no timetable for the return of All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley who suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury. Veteran Alejandro Villanueva was forced to flip over the left side and utility lineman Patrick Mekari took over as the starting right tackle.
Despite the lack of continuity in terms of individual players, the unit has been able to show enough cohesion to hold up in several high-pressure situations late in games during the team’s four-game winning steak.