When Ronnie Stanley went down with a left ankle injury on Sunday against the Steelers, the Ravens were left to reshuffle three spots along their offensive line.
Not only did Stanley go down with an injury, but right guard Tyre Phillips has a high-ankle sprain as well. Meaning for Sunday’s game against the Colts, the Ravens are likely to be down two starting offensive linemen.
Stanley, as announced, is out for the season with a severe ankle injury. Coach John Harbaugh, though, got (relatively) good news as it related to the long-term health of his All-Pro left tackle.
“Looks like surgery on his ankle,” Harbaugh said. “Looks like a good prognosis long-term. I was even told he’ll probably be back in May for OTAs. But you know, that’s a long way away. You’ll probably quote me on that but obviously that’s a lot of time between now and then.”
But the timing of Stanley’s injury, let alone the injury at all, certainly did the Ravens no favors.
The trade deadline is Tuesday and the Ravens, and with just $3.73 million in cap space, have little time to make a deal before the 4 p.m. deadline.
Not only do the Ravens only have less than 24 hours to complete a deal, it would have to be a simple one to work out. If the Ravens were able to take on an insurance swing tackle, like Riley Reiff, they’d need to make the money work in either a more complex trade or restructuring of contracts. Simply, they’d have to work fast.
Additionally, the market for tackles with experience doesn’t always come cheap, so the Ravens would either have to sell some significant draft choices for a player, or re-work some deals. Either way, that’s a difficult thing to pull off.
The interior of the line is still sturdy in terms of health with Bradley Bozeman, Matt Skura, and Patrick Mekari as the presumptive interior starters without Phillips. Trystan Colon-Castillo, Ben Bredeson, and Ben Powers are the reserve interior offensive linemen and could see time if Phillips is out longer than just a week.
That leaves Orlando Brown Jr. and D.J. Fluker as the team’s two tackles on the roster without an insurance tackle as a backup. Phillips, who played tackle in college at Mississippi State, could’ve slid into a tackle spot if need be.
Thus, the options for the Ravens to replace Stanley likely aren’t sexy by nature. They could elevate offensive lineman Will Holden from the practice squad as an insurance tackle, or make a cheap signing or trade to add insurance to the roster. Either way, don’t expect another big-time deadline move to come from general manager Eric DeCosta.
Instead, the Ravens are most likely set where they’re at along the offensive line.