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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ravens Must Overcome Injuries in Week Two

It’s always good to secure a win. However, the Baltimore Ravens’ 24-9 win over the New York Jets last Sunday came at a cost.

Two Ravens players suffered significant injuries that will likely keep them out for the rest of the season. Left tackle Ja’Wuan James ruptured his Achilles and nickel cornerback Kyle Fuller tore his ACL.

“One of those things. Just a crazy circumstance on the AstroTurf — got pushed off and just landed the wrong way in the turf and the turf doesn’t usually give as much as grass,” Harbaugh said of Fuller’s injury.

Fuller, a Baltimore native, signed a one-year deal with the Ravens in March. He started the game for the Ravens in place of cornerback Marcus Peters who is recovering from a knee injury himself.

Although Fuller’s injury will keep him out for the rest of the year, Harbaugh gave an indication that the Ravens would like to have the veteran defensive back return next season.

“He just liked everything about what we were doing, and he fit in so well, was playing good ball in the game, and really all camp,” Harbaugh said. “Such a serious guy, so determined. He’ll come back stronger than ever.”

Reserve defensive back Brandon Stephens came in to relieve Fuller after the injury. But Stephens saw his share of snaps prior to the injury as well. In total, Stephens played 58 snaps against New York.

Harbaugh wouldn’t say how far along Peters is or whether or not he’ll be ready to play on Sunday against the New England Patriots. If Peters isn’t able to go, Stephens would likely get the start. But don’t forget about rookies Jalyn Armour-Davis and Pepe Williams.

As for James, like Fuller, he was playing in place of a regular starter who’s working his way back from an injury. All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley had an ankle surgery last year and hasn’t played in a game in over 12 months.

Stanley was limited in practice last week and ruled out for the game against New York. But Stanley reportedly moved around well on the repaired ankle during individual drills at practice. His status for week two is yet to be determined.

James moved from right tackle to left tackle during training camp. That drew praise from the head coach.

“Ja’Wuan has really made a commitment to changing sides over there, and he’s practiced really well,” Harbaugh said last Friday.

Veteran offensive lineman Morgan Moses signed a three-year deal worth $15 million during the offseason. Moses started at right tackle last week. He’ll get the start there again which offers some stability on the right side.

However, if Stanley is unable to suit up, the Ravens don’t have many options on the roster. Rookie offensive lineman Daniel Faalele is an option, but he’s more of a right tackle.  They may have to bring in someone at the very least for depth.

“Yes, I think that’s something that’s in conversation right now,” Harbaugh said when asked about adding a veteran. “We’ll just kind of see where we’re at with all the moving parts there. There’s a lot of moving parts that go with that. Where we’re at with our team, what’s out there, those kinds of things. So, we’ll continue to talk about those things.”

Losing Fuller and James will cost the Ravens. But if help is on the way in Peters and Stanley, those losses could be minimized.

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