The Ronnie Stanley injury news had to hit the Baltimore Ravens pretty hard. For the second consecutive season their Pro Bowl left tackle has been sidelined with an ankle injury. Just like the 2020 campaign, this means that Stanley will miss the remainder of the season.
“This is not what I wanted or expected when coming into the season,” Stanley said in a statement. “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.”
A first-round pick out of Notre Dame back in 2016, Stanley started all 56 games in which he appeared in his first four NFL seasons. He earned All-Pro honors back in 2019. Unfortunately, Lamar Jackson’s blindside protector will have played a total of seven games once he returns for the 2022 campaign.
For the injury-plagued Baltimore Ravens, this is just the latest in a string of injuries that have impacted the 5-1 squad thus far on the season.
Baltimore Ravens injuries
- J.K. Dobbins, running back (out for the season)
- Gus Edwards, running back (out for the season)
- Justise Hill, running back (out for the season)
- Marcus Peters, cornerback (out for the season)
- Derek Wolfe, defensive end (injured reserve)
- L.J. Fort, linebacker (out for the season)
- Nick Boyle, tight end (injured reserve)
Even with Baltimore playing some pretty great football right now, losing its left tackle is a major setback. Presumably, free-agent signing Alejandro Villanueva will take over on the left side with a combination of Patrick Mekari and Andre Smith along the right side.
With that said, there’s going to be a lot of talk about Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta being active in adding a starting-caliber tackle ahead of the November trade deadline. Here’s a look at three options.
Baltimore Ravens trade for Kaleb McGary
There’s a decent chance the Atlanta Falcons look to move off this former first-round pick ahead of the deadline. The No. 31 overall selection out of Washington back in 2019, McGary simply has not lived up to expectations as the starting right tackle in front of Matt Ryan.
A change of scenery could be in the cards for the still-young 26-year-old tackle. Having started 34 of a possible 35 games thus far in his career, McGary has experience. He’d also come pretty cheap. At the very least, it would give the Ravens a bit more depth with Stanley down for the season.
Baltimore Ravens trade for Nate Solder
This would be a stopgap option, at best. Solder, 33, was on the verge of losing his starting job in Jersey this season prior to former first-round pick Andrew Thomas going down to injury. While he’s started all six games, there’s not a lot to write home about.
Even then, we’re talking about someone with experience protecting the blindside for a Super Bowl team. With a base salary of just $3 million this season, Baltimore would be getting Solder on the cheap. It also likely wouldn’t have to send anything more than a conditional late-round pick to the New York Giants in return. However, recent news that the aforementioned Thomas was placed on injured reserve does complicate things here.
Baltimore Ravens trade for Lane Johnson
Johnson could potentially be the best of both worlds for Baltimore. The three-time Pro Bowler has played a vast majority of his nine-year NFL career at right tackle. He could man that side of the line with Villanueva opposite him this season before Stanley returns in 2022.
Related: Philadelphia Eagles trade scenarios
There’s certainly a lot of factors that would complicate things here. First off, Baltimore dealt away star right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. last off-season. One of the primary reasons for that was the fact that he’s set to cash in big time on a new contract. For his part, Johnson is playing under a four-year, $72 million deal. What we do know is that the 2-4 Philadelphia Eagles could end up going into full-scale sell-off mode here in the next two weeks. If that is the case, these Ravens should be all over the possibility of adding Johnson to the mix.