For weeks, the Baltimore Ravens have had to overcome adversity in the form of a litany of injuries to starters and prominent role players following a bittersweet season-opening victory. On Thursday, they got positive news on the injury front as they continue to get healthier on both sides of the ball.
Set to face one of the fiercest pass rushes in the league in their Week 5 matchup with Pittsburgh Steelers, they had both of their starting offensive tackles — who are currently dealing with minor injuries — on the practice field on Thursday.
Right tackle Morgan Moses made his return to practice as a limited participant after sitting out on Wednesday with a shoulder injury. He missed the second half of the team’s Week 4 win over the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday.
Stanley was a full participant for the second day in a row and afterward told reporters that “there’s a strong possibility” that he will be making his return to the starting lineup. The All-Pro blindside protector has missed the past three games with a knee sprain that he suffered late in the season opener in Week 1.
“We know what this game means to us as a franchise and as a team. No one takes it lightly. We’re trying to get as much firepower out there as possible,” Stanley said.
Having one or both stalwart starters back for the Ravens’ third AFC North matchup of the season would help keep the Steelers’ potent pass rush tandem of Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt at bay. Both players have combined for seven sacks through the first four games with a whopping six belonging to Watt. He primarily lines up on the right side, where Moses will play if he’s available.
In Stanley’s absence, fifth-year veteran utility lineman Patrick Mekari has been playing left tackle and second-year pro Daniel Faalele finished the Browns game for Moses.
“They’ve done a great job,” Stanley said. “Credit to Pat for his commitment to his technique and everything [that] he’s done. There’s [been] a lot of times [when] he’s played at an All-Pro level. I’m just proud of everything he’s done.”
Stanley has missed 33 of the Ravens’ past 49 games including the playoffs since suffering his first major injury in Week 8 of the 2020 season in a home game against the Steelers. However, he isn’t dwelling on the past and is grateful for the opportunity to still be able to play and contribute to a championship-contending team.
“Definitely after the past couple of years, it’s always [been] difficult to miss games, but it could always be worse. I’m just happy I’m still here, able to come back this season and continue our Super Bowl run.”
There were several other positive injury developments for the Ravens coming out of Thursday’s practice. Starting safety Marcus Williams continued to be a full participant in practice as he dealt with a pectoral injury. Wide receiver Rashod Bateman practiced fully for the second day in a row as well with a hamstring that caused him to sit out Week 4.
While they remained limited, it was still encouraging to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), running back Justice Hill (foot/hamstring), and cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot) continued to participate in practice. Beckham Jr. has missed the past two games since suffering his initial injury in Week 2 and Hill returned from a one-game absence in Week 4 but only carried the ball three times for 33 yards. Humphrey has yet to play this season as he works his way back from a foot surgery he underwent during training camp.