OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As the Ravens prepare to take on rival Pittsburgh without star quarterback Lamar Jackson, left tackle Ronnie Stanley is looking more likely to be back in the starting lineup for Week 14.
Stanley practiced fully on Wednesday and appears primed to return after sitting out Baltimore’s last two games with an ankle injury suffered in the Week 11 win over Carolina. It was Jackson who was driven into the left ankle that’s required multiple surgeries since 2020, but tests revealed only a minor sprain, a significant relief since Stanley had missed 31 of 32 games before making his long-awaited return to game action back in Week 5.
The 2019 Pro Bowl selection practiced on a limited basis last week before ultimately sitting out against Denver, a sign that he was moving closer to a return.
“We’ll just see how it goes,” head coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “I’m very hopeful for that for sure.”
Stanley being a full participant coincided with the absences of backup left tackle Patrick Mekari (toe) and right guard Kevin Zeitler (knee) on the offensive line. Mekari hurt his left toe early in last Sunday’s win over Broncos and rotated snaps with rookie Daniel Faalele for the remainder of the game. Zeitler played all 72 offensive snaps and was in the locker room during media access, which is typically a good sign for a player’s status.
In surprising news, inside linebacker Patrick Queen practiced on a limited basis just three days after being carted off the field in the fourth quarter of the 10-9 win over the Broncos. Queen was in significant pain after taking a knee to the thigh from teammate Justin Madubuike, but X-rays revealed only a bruise and the third-year linebacker was able to walk out of the postgame locker room, albeit with a significant limp.
The 2021 first-round pick was listed as a limited practice participant and is “pretty sure” he’ll be ready to play against the Steelers despite initially fearing a serious injury.
“I was very happy about the news once we got the X-rays and stuff,” Queen said. “Still, I could barely walk that day, but every day has been a step forward. I’m still getting treatment right now, still hoping to get back out there and be able to go full speed.”
As expected, Jackson didn’t take part in Wednesday’s practice as he continues to recover from a left knee injury suffered on the last play of the first quarter against Denver. Harbaugh wouldn’t address specifics of the injury in the wake of reports indicating Jackson is dealing with a sprained PCL, saying the Ravens will “just kind of let it play out.”
Coming off a solid performance in relief of Jackson against the Broncos, Tyler Huntley is now preparing to start in Pittsburgh, the team he faced in Baltimore’s 2021 season-ending defeat. Huntley’s teammates have expressed no shortage of confidence in his ability to lead the offense in Jackson’s absence.
“He’s a good player. He’s played well when he’s been out there,” Harbaugh said. “They see him practice every day, they see how hard he works, and they know he’s talented. He’s the guy, and that’s it. You guys [in the media] are going to make a way bigger story about it than we are. I know that.”
Wide receiver Devin Duvernay was among the five players to receive a rest day from practice, which was likely a product of him playing a career-high 68 offense snaps against Denver.
Running back J.K. Dobbins (knee) and safety Marcus Williams (wrist) continue to practice in hopes of being activated off injured reserve to play against the Steelers. Dobbins began practicing last week after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in late October while Williams was designated to return on Nov. 23 and hasn’t played in a game since dislocating his left wrist in the Week 5 win over Cincinnati.
“We’re definitely looking forward to [Williams being back],” safety Chuck Clark said. “We’re seeing him ramp up in practice. The more people we can have out there, the better, honestly.”
The Ravens signed wide receiver Binjimen Victor and cornerback BoPete Keyes to their practice squad on Wednesday. Victor had cleared waivers after being cut from the 53-man roster on Monday.
Pittsburgh practiced without running back Najee Harris (oblique), defensive end Larry Ogunjobi (toe), and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor (shoulder) on Wednesday, but Harris and Ogunjobi had been dealing with those ailments before playing in last Sunday’s win at Atlanta. Okorafor was able to quickly return to Sunday’s game despite hurting his shoulder.
Below was Wednesday’s full injury report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DE Calais Campbell (rest), OL Trystan Colon (personal), WR Devin Duvernay (rest), OLB Justin Houston (rest), QB Lamar Jackson (knee), OL Patrick Mekari (toe), OT Morgan Moses (rest), CB Marcus Peters (rest), CB Daryl Worley (hamstring), G Kevin Zeitler (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Del’Shawn Phillips (quad), ILB Patrick Queen (thigh), ILB Kristian Welch (concussion)
FULL PARTICIPATION: OT Ronnie Stanley (ankle)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: RB Najee Harris (oblique), DL Larry Ogunjobi (toe), OT Chukwuma Okorafor (shoulder), OLB Malik Reed (back)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Diontae Johnson (hip), OLB T.J. Watt (ribs)