Ravens coach John Harbaugh mum on rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley's absence in last four games
Although he is a rookie, left tackle Ronnie Stanley has demonstrated a deft touch at avoiding answering questions about the foot injury that has sidelined him for the Ravens' last four games and about a timetable for his return.
Coach John Harbaugh also isn't divulging much about the health of the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
Asked if Stanley suffered a setback after fully practicing three times last week or if Stanley simply not ready to return to the starting lineup, Harbaugh said, "the latter."
"I haven't viewed him as anything," he said. "I just go with what the trainers and doctors tell me."
Stanley's absence has coincided with the team's four-game losing skid. More importantly, his inability to return to the field has been puzzling because he has been practicing and walking around the training facility in Owings Mills without any hesitation or limp.
Stanley's void has been filled by fellow rookie Alex Lewis, who has started at left tackle in each of the last three games. The fourth-round pick is tied with quarterback Joe Flacco and cornerback Jimmy Smith for the team lead in penalties with four – including a holding infraction that negated a 52-yard run by running back Terrance West (Northwestern High, Towson University) in the second quarter of Sunday's 24-16 loss to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
But Harbaugh said he has been impressed with Lewis' play after moving from left guard, where he started the first three games.
"Look at Alex Lewis' situation. I'm going to say, 'OK, in the big picture of a left tackle in the National Football League, he's played OK,'" Harbaugh said. "Now for a rookie who we drafted to play guard, who was playing pretty darn good at guard, just to bump out there and play left tackle – the toughest spot – and do OK, I think it's a tremendous credit to him. The guy's smart, he's tough, he studies, and I really like Alex Lewis and believe he's going to be a really good player for us."
Suggs cleared in legal case: The criminal charges, stemming from Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs' March arrest in Arizona for driving on a suspended license, were dismissed Monday. Suggs will also be cleared of a civil infraction when he completes a defensive driving course, his attorney Craig Penrod said. The civil situation is a result of his car scraping the wall during his one-car accident in Scottsdale.
Suggs was arrested on March 4 and initially charged with driving on a suspending license, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to notify after striking a fixture after his BMW collided with the median. An investigation by police showed no evidence that the longest-tenured Raven was impaired and he told officers that he "possibly fell asleep" behind the wheel.
Suggs, who missed Sunday's loss to the New York Jets with a torn left biceps, has said he's gotten his license situation straightened out.
End zone: Despite two lost fumbles this season and two fumbles on Sunday that the Ravens retained, Devin Hester Sr. will remain the team's return specialist. Harbaugh said he still has faith in Hester, who ranks third in the NFL with a 28.8-yard kick return average despite a thigh issue that forced him to sit out a 27-23 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 16. "I'm still very confident Devin can secure the football," Harbaugh said. "I like the fact that Devin can still break a big return. ...Tight end Daniel Brown, who the Ravens waived Saturday, was claimed off waivers Monday by the Chicago Bears. The Ravens had hoped to re-sign Brown to their practice squad, but they now have a vacancy there. ... …Jets quarterback Geno Smith, who was knocked out of Sunday's game in the second quarter after getting sacked by rookie outside linebacker Matthew Judon, reportedly tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and seeking a second opinion. ... Former Raven Ray Lewis will be one of four captains at the 2017 Pro Bowl, which will return to the AFC vs. NFC format. Each conference will be led by an offensive and defensive captain, who will be on the sideline to mentor the players. Lewis will be joined by former Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis. Former Kansas City Chief/Atlanta Falcon Tony Gonzalez and former Oakland Raider/Green Bay Packer Charles Woodson will captain the NFC.