Ravens Ronald Stanley
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley was the No. 6 overall pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2016. Stanley will have season-ending surgery on his injured ankle this year after a severe ankle injury in Week 8 of the 2020 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Photo Credit: Will Newton/Getty Images

Just a couple of short years ago, Baltimore Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley was considered as one of the best offensive linemen in football. The No. 6 overall pick by the Ravens in 2016 came off an All-Pro season in 2019 and signed a five-year contract extension worth $98.75 million before the 2020 season started.

However, that year things took a turn for the worse. Stanley suffered a severe ankle injury in Week 8 of the 2020 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which landed him on injured reserve.

The Ravens managed to deal with his injury by moving third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. from right tackle to left tackle. Knowing Stanley would eventually return and take his left tackle spot back, Brown requested a trade. His wish was eventually granted, and Brown was dealt to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for four draft picks before the season started. The Ravens signed veteran offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva to take over at right tackle. A rigorous rehabilitation process allowed Stanley to return in 2021. Unfortunately, the injury bug bit Stanley once again. He played in the season opener but another ankle injury landed him on the injured reserve list once again.

Stanley will have season-ending surgery on his injured ankle. That’s definitely not the fate the Ravens envisioned when they signed Stanley to the husky contract. He didn’t envision it either. “As I sit here in my hospital bed post-surgery, I have a lot of mixed emotions.

On one hand I’m angry, sad, upset, depressed knowing things could’ve been different. I should be gearing up for our Super Bowl run but instead I’m back in the same hospital I was in almost a year ago,” Stanley posted on Twitter. “Not being able to fight, compete— physically sacrifice for my teammates, for the second season in a row is mentally debilitating. On the other hand, I’m grateful, hopeful, excited that I get another opportunity to do this the right way. I have a chance to be everything I need to be for my team, and that wouldn’t be possible without this surgery. I’m thankful for all the support from my family, teammates, friends, and the best fans, #Ravensflock. I will take full advantage of the chance I’ve been given. It will be challenging but with God’s grace and will, I’m confident.”

To help replace Stanley, the Ravens have converted Villanueva from right tackle to left tackle, the position be played throughout his career with the Steelers.

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