After a promising 2019 NFL campaign that saw him earn both All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors, Baltimore Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley has played just seven games over the last two seasons. The 27-year-old was expected to be at full strength in 2021, but the re-aggravation of a nagging ankle injury ended his year after the season opener.
Fast forward to Friday and the Ravens are admitting that they may have made a "mistake" when it came to assuming he was at full health.
Ronnie Stanley Ravens
Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta told reporters Friday that it's "probably my mistake" that he assumed Stanley would be ready for the 2021 season. He added that even though there's "a lot of blame to go around," he's taking full responsibility for the setback.
"My understanding and belief was that Ronnie would come back this year and play really good football for us, and be healthy and be strong and be ready to go and he wasn’t. That was a big setback."- Eric DeCosta
Nevertheless, DeCosta concluded that he's confident that Stanley will return to his All-Pro form in 2022. The Ravens will need that to be the truth because the offensive line was a mess without him over the last two seasons.
Without Stanley, quarterback Lamar Jackson was sacked for a career-worst 38 times in just 12 games. Overall, the Ravens allowed 3.4 sacks per game in 2021 — tied with the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals for the worst average in the NFL
For the sake of Jackson, the Ravens and their fans, DeCosta should hope that he's right about Stanley's recovery this time around. If not, 2022 could be just as ugly, if not worse, than 2021.
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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.