After getting selected by the Ravens in the 2013 NFL draft, Ryan Jensen and Rick Wagner were roommates for about three years. Jensen acknowledged that Wagner was the neater roommate, but there was a compelling reason.
“He had everything that he owned in a duffel bag,” Jensen said to a crowd of reporters, drawing laughter. “That’s just the way Rick was. He didn’t have a lot of stuff. He always joked around that if he ever had to move somewhere, all he had to do was pack a duffel bag with all of his stuff.”
Jensen, the team’s starting center, and other members of the offensive line are looking forward to seeing Wagner, the starting right tackle for the Detroit Lions who visit M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. Wagner had started 45 of 48 games from 2014 to 2016 before leaving via free agency in March for Detroit, which signed him to a five-year, $47.5 million contract that included $20.5 million in guaranteed salary.
Wagner has started all 11 games for the Lions and has been a reliable presence for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“He’s been great,” Stafford said during a conference call with Baltimore media on Wednesday. “He’s a really steady personality. He’s a guy that shows up every week ready to play. He’s brought a whole bunch of experience, physicality and veteran savvy to our offensive line.”
Through a Lions spokesman, Wagner declined to be interviewed. But he did speak to the media covering the team.
Asked how often he stays in touch with his former Ravens teammates, Wagner replied, “We text back and forth, especially the O-linemen. A lot of great guys on that team and I’m kind of excited to see them.”
Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley said he and a few linemen may meet Wagner for dinner on Saturday night.
“It’ll definitely be weird to see Rick [on the opposing team], but I’m excited to see him,” Stanley said. “I haven’t seen Rick in a long time. He’s a great guy. I learned a lot from him.”
Like Stanley, left guard James Hurst acknowledged the strangeness of seeing Wagner in a non-Ravens jersey. And Hurst had a request for Wagner.
“This Sunday, he can just take a week off and relax,” Hurst joked. “But I’m always cheering for him, and hopefully, we come out on top on Sunday.”