While addressing the media following the Ravens’ mandatory minicamp practice on Tuesday, head coach John Harbaugh spoke about All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley.
“He’s on schedule,” Harbaugh said of Stanley, adding that “he should be ready to open the season for sure.”
After emerging as one of the best left tackles in the entire NFL during an All-Pro 2019 season, Stanley was continuing his high level of play in 2020. Unfortunately, Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury against the Steelers in Week 8 of the 2020 season. This was a big blow to a Baltimore offensive line that had already lost All-Pro right guard Marshal Yanda to retirement following the 2019 season.
The loss of one of the best pass-protecting tackles in the league on quarterback Lamar Jackson’s blindside had a rippling effect along the offensive line. Right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. was moved to left tackle, where he performed admirably. Meanwhile, veteran D.J. Fluker and rookie third-round pick Tyre Phillips rotated in and out of the right tackle position. This combined with poor center play throughout the season caused the Ravens quite a few issues, particularly in the 17-3 playoff loss in the Divisional round to the Bills which saw Jackson suffer a concussion after chasing down a high snap.
Stanley now returns to what should be a much-improved offensive line. Veteran guard Kevin Zeitler was signed in free agency to a three-year $22.5 million contract after being let go by the Giants. Zeitler will plug the hole at right guard left by Yanda. Bradley Bozeman will slide over from left guard to center to hopefully shore up the issues there. At left guard, rookie third-round pick Ben Cleveland is currently the favorite to start, but the Ravens have several options on the team, including Phillips, Ben Powers, and Ben Bredeson.