Sun, 28 Nov 2021

Ronnie Stanley Is Having Season-Ending Ankle Surgery

Baltimore Ravens
20 Oct 2021, 04:25 GMT+10

Ryan Mink

Ravens All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley will have another ankle surgery, ending his season early for a second straight year.

Stanley announced the news Tuesday afternoon. He has been officially moved to injured reserve, marking the Ravens' league-high 17th player to go on IR.

According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the surgery is happening today and being performed by Dr. Robert Anderson.

"This is not what I wanted or expected when coming into the season," Stanley stated. "Throughout the last year, I did everything I could to be 100% healthy so I could be out there playing for our team and city. As a competitor, I have a mindset of sacrificing my body for my brothers and my team to reach our goals. At this point in time, my ankle isn't where it should be.

"This is the best decision not only for my health, but also for the team long term. I look forward to supporting my team from the sideline this season and coming back fully healthy in 2022."

Stanley returned from last year's season-ending ankle injury to play Week 1 against the Las Vegas Raiders but has been sidelined for the five games since.

Stanley suffered the major ankle injury on Nov. 1, 2020, just a couple days after signing a five-year deal worth a reported $98.75 million.

After an offseason of rehab, Stanley was eased back into action, returning to the field for the first time on Aug. 9. He played sparingly in one preseason game before suiting up for the regular-season opener in his hometown of Las Vegas. That game meant a lot to Stanley, but it didn't go as well as hoped, with Lamar Jackson facing a lot of pressure from Raiders pass rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue.

When healthy, Stanley is one of the NFL's elite offensive tackles and a big reason for Baltimore's success. Without him, the Ravens have pivoted by shifting veteran Alejandro Villanueva, who was signed this offseason, to his natural left tackle spot and inserting Patrick Mekari at right tackle. Both have stepped up to keep the Ravens offense among the best in the league (No. 4 in the NFL).

Head Coach John Harbaugh said both tackles were "phenomenal" against the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday's 34-6 victory and said Mekari has played the position "about as well as you could expect it to be played."

"I couldn't be more pleased with him - run blocking, pass protection - [and] his versatility, obviously, but he's locked in at right tackle, and I couldn't ask for a better player there right now," Harbaugh said of Mekari.

The Ravens have also added depth at offensive tackle in recent days, They claimed Brandon Knight off waivers Monday after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys. Baltimore also recently added David Sharpe to the practice squad.

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