Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley will return to the team's lineup on Sunday evening against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the news on Stanley, who has only played one game since suffering a significant ankle injury during the 2020 season.
Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo
The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ravens?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ravens</a> will welcome All-Pro LT Ronnie Stanley back tomorrow, sources tell me and <a href="https://twitter.com/RapSheet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RapSheet</a>. After being held out the last few weeks, Stanley will play for the first time since last season’s opener and only the second time since fracturing his ankle almost two years ago.
Per Rapoport, Stanley suffered a fractured and dislocated ankle during his team's 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 1, 2020. He returned for the 2021 season opener but landed on injured reserve in October to continue to rehab his ankle.
Baltimore Ravens @Ravens
We have placed LT Ronnie Stanley on injured reserve. <br><br>Statement from <a href="https://twitter.com/megatronnie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@megatronnie</a>. <a href="https://t.co/NjJmbtGn6P">https://t.co/NjJmbtGn6P</a> <a href="https://t.co/NcqfEESLWi">pic.twitter.com/NcqfEESLWi</a>
"They haven’t really pinpointed when it happened," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters. "It just didn’t work out. I guess the best way to explain it. Ronnie is much more involved, he’s talking to the doctors."
Stanley ultimately had a season-ending ankle surgery with an eye toward returning in 2022. He passed his physical and came off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list in August. He returned to practice but missed the first four games as he worked his way back to better health.
Stanley's last full season (2019) ended with him earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. The former Notre Dame star was tasked with protecting quarterback Lamar Jackson's blind side, and he was exceptional en route to helping the superstar signal-caller earn NFL MVP honors. The Ravens also finished with a league-best 14-2 record and an AFC North title.
Stanley returns to a 2-2 team that has lost a pair of heartbreakers to two 3-1 teams (the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins) that overcame double-digit deficits to take down the Ravens. Baltimore looks much better than its record, though, with Jackson looking like his MVP self again. Having Stanley back can only help as Baltimore looks for a return trip to the playoffs after missing out last year.