The Baltimore Ravens’ offseason has been an ebb and flow of good and bad luck. They have had quite more than their fair share of injuries to suffer through, but they have also gotten the opportunity to stumble upon veteran players who suddenly became available to them late in the offseason who would fill key holes in their starting lineup.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to get a read on which form of luck they have experienced more, because of the fact that they were rewarded for neglecting important positions along the offensive line and at wide receiver by finding able veterans in the aftermarket, so the speak.
But the Ravens continue to be littered with injuries, such that their ‘dress rehearsal’ third preseason game will resemble no such thing for the offensive side of the ball. Offensive coordinator Marty Monhinweg even acknowledged that they might approach the game differently this season because of that.
A back injury that was initially supposed to keep him out a week, according to the team’s original account, has sidelined quarterback Joe Flacco to date, and is expected still to keep him out for at least the remainder of the preseason. Needless to say, he will not be participating in their dress rehearsal.
But joining him on the sidelines are some other important starters, including his left tackle, one of his top receivers, and one of his top running backs.
Second-year former first-round draft pick Ronnie Stanley has been out of practice for about two weeks now with an undisclosed injury. While he had a solid rookie season protecting Flacco’s blind side, it’s never good for a young player to miss valuable playing time.
That is especially the case along a young, or rather new, offensive line. Jeremy Zuttah is a familiar face, but was only recently re-signed, and still has new things to learn. Marshal Yanda has yet to play this preseason, and Austin Howard has only just gotten up to speed. And they’re not even sure who will start at left guard.
Aside from Stanley, there is wide receiver Breshad Perriman, who has been out this entire month with a hamstring injury, also not expected to play. While some pressure was taken off of him with the acquisition of Jeremy Maclin, a former first-round draft pick is always going to be expected to be a major contributor.
Then there is Danny Woodhead, who, if not expected to start, will be playing a very big role with Kenneth Dixon out for the year. He, too, has been dealing with a hamstring injury and is not expected to play.
When the regular season does get here, the Ravens will be fielding a beat-up, ad hoc offense at virtually every position that has hardly worked together. Perhaps the only good news is that tight end Maxx Williams, coming off a knee injury, has supposedly looked good.