Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley returned to practice Monday for the first time this preseason, raising hopes that he could soon be ready for game action.
Stanley, who has missed most of the past two seasons with ankle injuries, was cleared to practice Aug. 26 but did not participate during the workouts open to reporters last week. The 2019 All-Pro appeared to move well during positional drills in Monday’s practice, the first of the week ahead of Sunday’s season opener against the New York Jets.
Coach John Harbaugh, who’d hoped Stanley would have two to three weeks of practice before playing in a game, reiterated Monday that there’s no set timetable for his return. The Ravens are also monitoring the health of running back J.K. Dobbins and cornerback Marcus Peters, projected starters who missed all of last season with knee injuries.
“It just depends on how he’s doing, you know?” Harbaugh said after Monday’s practice. “A lot of it has to do with how he’s feeling and if he’s ready to go, if he feels strong and he’s moving, if he feels like he could be successful and if we see what we need to see.”
Stanley played in just one game last season, the opener, before undergoing season-ending ankle surgery for the second straight year. He first hurt his left ankle in November 2020. If Stanley is unavailable Sunday, Ja’Wuan James is expected to start at left tackle.
Right tackle Morgan Moses said Stanley’s return to practice raised spirits among the Ravens’ offensive linemen. He couldn’t help but watch Stanley’s repetitions during individual drills, and his evaluation was promising: “He looks good. He looks like Ronnie Stanley.” But Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium, Moses acknowledged, is “the real thing now,” a step up from the preseason.
“I think anytime you can get your All-Pro tackle back, it’s good,” he said. “I’ve played nine years [in the NFL], so I know about how it feels to come off an injury and just really wanting to get back out there. And it’s exciting to see him out there.”
Ravens rookie safety Kyle Hamilton, the team’s top draft pick, also returned to practice for the first time since Aug. 25. Rookie defensive lineman Travis Jones (knee) was the only player on the active roster missing, but Harbaugh said he didn’t see the team’s attendance as validation for the Ravens’ more cautious preseason approach.
“You just never know what leads to anything,” he said. “So you never know what’s to blame for sure and you never know what’s to credit for sure. "
An injury report will be released Wednesday.
- Jets coach Robert Saleh wouldn’t rule out quarterback Zach Wilson starting over Joe Flacco in Sunday’s opener. Saleh said Monday that Wilson, who underwent arthroscopic surgery last month after suffering a bone bruise and torn meniscus in the preseason, “looked good” in a workout Monday. Flacco, who played 11 seasons in Baltimore, has never faced his former team in a game. A final decision is expected Wednesday, according to Saleh.
- There are three new numbers on the Ravens’ roster. Defensive lineman Brent Urban switched from No. 68 to No. 97, and rookie Inside linebacker Josh Ross, who wore No. 46 in the preseason, changed to No. 51. New inside linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips will wear No. 53.