The most significant developments stemming from Sunday’s 13-3 win over Carolina were the injuries to left tackle Ronnie Stanley and safety Kyle Hamilton, but it appears as though the Ravens avoided the worst with both.
Though it’s unclear whether either will play against Jacksonville this weekend, head coach John Harbaugh provided an encouraging — but incomplete — update on Monday. Both exited the game in the third quarter with Hamilton injuring his left knee and Stanley hurting the same left ankle that’s required multiple surgeries over the last two years.
“We don’t have the final word on those things yet, but I would say it’s definitely trending in the right direction based on what we know so far,” Harbaugh said. “Ronnie still has an MRI to get, so we’ll find out the final on that, but it was trending really well [Sunday] night and this morning. And Kyle, the same thing. The X-rays looked good, so it’s trending in the right way. His knee is stable and all those kinds of things.”
While Hamilton has emerged as the primary nickel back in recent weeks for a Baltimore defense thin on established cornerback depth behind starters Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, the concern for Stanley is understandably greater considering the 2019 All-Pro left tackle missed 31 of 32 games after suffering his original ankle injury on Nov. 1, 2020. The versatile Patrick Mekari replaced Stanley while Brandon Stephens replaced Hamilton in the nickel package for the remainder of the game.
Having rolled into the left tackle’s ankle after being sacked on a third-and-19 play, star quarterback Lamar Jackson was as concerned about Stanley as anyone on Sunday.
“I went in the locker room after the game, and I checked on him, but he said he’s pretty good. He told me just don’t fall into him,” said Jackson as he smiled. “It was me who hurt him, so I’m a little [ticked] off about that, but he’s good. That’s all that matters.”
Stanley made his season debut against Cincinnati on Oct. 9 after sitting out the first four games and has looked much like the dominant left tackle he was before the original injury with Pro Football Focus grading him third among all qualified offensive tackles in pass blocking through Week 11.
Hamstrings healing slowly
Despite optimism that Gus Edwards would be ready to return to game action after the bye week, the fifth-year running back missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury sustained in the Week 8 win at Tampa Bay.
Edwards was a limited participant in practices last week, but Harbaugh had walked back some of the early optimism before the running back was ultimately deactivated for the Carolina game.
“He just couldn’t get to the game. It was one of those things that we really thought — I thought. I’m not going to say I was told, but there was some optimism that he would get to the game, and it just didn’t quite work out,” Harbaugh said. “He just couldn’t do it, and you could see it. I could see it in practice on Friday and Thursday, so we’ll hold out the same hope this week. I think he’ll get there, but he just has to be right. A guy has to be ready to go and be at his best. He’s working hard. Gus wanted to go.”
Meanwhile, wide receiver DeSean Jackson wasn’t elevated from the practice squad to play against the Panthers because of a hamstring injury suffered against New Orleans in Week 9. Set to turn 36 next week, Jackson made one catch for 16 yards in his Ravens debut, but he left the game after only 11 snaps.
The Ravens initially downplayed his exit from the Saints game as more of a precautionary move, but the veteran wideout still wasn’t able to practice all last week.
“It wasn’t supposed to be real bad, but [the hamstring strain] just hasn’t quite come back as fast as you want it to,” Harbaugh said. “He’s working really hard to bring it back. He’s a little older, [so] it probably does take a little bit more time. I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for saying that, but he’s working at it. He’s going to be back, hopefully, this week. We’ll see.”
Bateman on mend for 2023
Wide receiver Rashod Bateman recently underwent season-ending surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury to his left foot with the procedure being deemed successful, according to Harbaugh.
Bateman hurt his foot in the Oct. 2 loss to Buffalo and returned a couple weeks later to play in two more games before sustaining a setback in the Oct. 27 win over the Buccaneers. The 2021 first-round pick out of Minnesota decided to undergo surgery a few days later rather than try to continue playing through such a tough injury for a wide receiver.
“The good thing is he got it in kind of a timeframe where it should be a quicker recovery than it would’ve been if it had been a worse injury,” Harbaugh said. “It was an injury that needed the surgery for sure, and I think [it was] absolutely the right thing to get it done at that time, and it’s going to make for a really good recovery. That’s what I was told. I know he’s excited about that.
“I don’t know what the timeframe is for him coming back, but he’s going to be good for next year.”
Bateman has played in just 18 games over his first two NFL seasons.