The key developments after Sunday’s 13-3 win over Carolina were the injuries to left tackle Ronnie Stanley and safety Kyle Hamilton, but it seems the Ravens avoided the worst with both.
Though it’s unclear if either of them will play Jacksonville this weekend, head coach John Harbaugh provided an encouraging – but incomplete – update on Monday. Both left the game in the third quarter, with Hamilton injuring his left knee and Stanley injuring the same left ankle, which has required multiple surgeries over the past two years.
“We don’t have the final say on these things yet, but I would say it’s definitely headed in the right direction based on what we know so far,” Harbaugh said. “Ronnie has yet to do an MRI so we’ll find out the finale on that, but it was trending really well [Sunday] night and this morning. And Kyle, the same. The X-rays looked good, so the trend is in the right direction. His knee is stable and all that stuff.”
While Hamilton has emerged in recent weeks as the primary nickel for a Baltimore defense thin at established cornerback depth behind starters Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, concern for Stanley is understandably greater considering the left 2019 All-Pro tackle Missed 31 of 32 games after suffering his original ankle injury on November 1, 2020. The versatile Patrick Mekari replaced Stanley, while Brandon Stephens replaced Hamilton for the rest of the game in the nickel package.
Star quarterback Lamar Jackson, who rolled in his left tackle ankle after being released from a third and 19th game, was as concerned for Stanley as anyone on Sunday.
“I went into the dressing room after the game and checked on him but he said he was pretty good. He told me just don’t fall for him,” Jackson said, smiling. “It was me who hurt him, so I’m a little bit [ticked] that aside, but he’s good. That’s all that counts.”
Stanley made his season debut against Cincinnati on Oct. 9 after missing the first four games and looked like the dominant left tackle he was before the original injury at 11.
Hamstrings heal slowly
Despite optimism that Gus Edwards would be ready to return after bye week, the running back missed his second straight game for the fifth year with a hamstring injury sustained in the Week 8 win at Tampa Bay.
Edwards had limited practice last week, but Harbaugh had taken back some of the early optimism before running back was finally disabled for the Carolina game.
“He just didn’t come into the game. It was one of those things that we really thought – I thought. I won’t say I was told, but there was some optimism that he would come to the game and it just didn’t quite pan out,” Harbaugh said. “He just couldn’t, and you could see that. I could see it in training on Friday and Thursday so we’ll have the same hope this week. I think he’ll make it, but he just has to be right. A guy has to be ready to go and do his best. he works hard Gus wanted to go.”
Meanwhile, wide receiver DeSean Jackson was not lifted off the practice team to play against the Panthers because of a hamstring injury he sustained in Week 9 against New Orleans. Jackson, who turns 36 next week, made a catch for 16 yards on his Ravens debut, but he left the game after just 11 snaps.
The Ravens initially downplayed his exit from the Saints game as more of a precaution, but the veteran wideout was still unable to practice last week.
“It shouldn’t be really bad, though [the hamstring strain] just didn’t come back as quickly as you’d like,” Harbaugh said. “He’s working really hard to bring it back. he is a bit older [so] it will probably take a little longer. I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for saying this, but he’s working on it. He will hopefully be back this week. We will see.”
Bateman on recovery for 2023
Wide receiver Rashod Bateman recently underwent late-season surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury to his left foot, which Harbaugh said the procedure was considered successful.
Bateman injured his foot in the October 2 loss to Buffalo and returned a few weeks later to play in two more games before suffering a setback in the October 27 win against the Buccaneers. The 2021 first-round pick from Minnesota decided to have surgery a few days later rather than try to continue playing such a serious injury for a wide receiver.
“The good thing is that he got it in a time frame where it should be a faster recovery than it would have been with a more serious injury,” Harbaugh said. “It was an injury that certainly required surgery and I think [it was] absolutely the right thing to do at this point and it will make for a really good recovery. I was told that. I know he’s happy about it.
“I don’t know what the time frame is for his return but he will be good for next year.”
Bateman only played 18 games in his first two NFL seasons.