Ronnie Stanley said he was “really close” to returning to game action but it remains to be seen if that means this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
After practicing fully Wednesday and Thursday, Stanley got a rest day Friday. He is officially listed as questionable to play.
On Thursday, Stanley said he would talk over whether he'll play Sunday with the Ravens' coaching and presumably medical staff and "make the best decision that's best for the team."
Stanley did acknowledge that the Ravens' injuries at left tackle are pushing him more to get on the field. Patrick Mekari is dealing with an ankle injury suffered last week in New England and did not practice all week. He's doubtful to play.
If Stanley and Mekari don't play, fourth-round rookie Daniel Faalele would start at left tackle. Faalele, who had never played left tackle in a game before last week, was rocky out of the gates against the Patriots but settled in well as the game went on.
With eight-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Von Miller and a strong Bills defense coming to town, the Ravens could use their All-Pro Stanley.
"Seeing the guys that play my position just go down and knowing that I'm so close to helping out, definitely that competitive side pushes more and more to want to get out there," Stanley said.
"But from what happened last year, we're taking the smarter approach and we want to make sure that we're not doing something that's going to hurt us long term throughout the season. I think we're doing it the right way."
Justin Houston Doubtful, OLB Corps Further Strained
Outside linebacker Justin Houston did not practice all week and is doubtful to play, putting further strain on Baltimore's unit.
Houston tweaked his groin in New England and didn't return to the game. He leads the Ravens with 2.0 sacks so far this season.
New Ravens outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul practiced all week and said he'll "definitely be ready" for Sunday's game.
The Ravens could call up veteran Brandon Copeland, who got a sack last week, from the practice squad. Baltimore also has outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, who was signed this week, and rookie Jeremiah Moon on the practice squad.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said there will be some roster juggling before Sunday's game. The Ravens have three open spots on their 53-man roster.
"There will be a guy or two called up off the practice squad, and possibly the roster also," Harbaugh said. "So, that will all get worked out. We have a plan."
J.K. Dobbins Has No Issue After Limited Early Practice
Running back J.K. Dobbins was limited in Wednesday's practice because of a chest issue, but he practiced fully Thursday and Friday and doesn't have a final designation, meaning he's expected to play.
Dobbins had a fairly even split of the backfield snaps in his first game back from last year's season-ending knee injury. Dobbins ran seven times for 23 yards in New England and is looking for more as he continues to get back to his old self.
Dobbins is excited to play in his first game in a packed M&T Bank Stadium, as it was mostly empty because of COVID in 2020 and he missed all last year.
Bills Have Five Starters Questionable Heading Into Game
The Bills have had some improvements on the health front since being decimated in Week 3, but they're still banged up.
The gameday decisions to watch are on five starters who are questionable: wide receiver Gabe Davis (ankle), safety Jordan Poyer (foot), defensive tackle Ed Oliver (ankle), tight end Dawson Knox (back/hip) and center Mitch Morse (elbow).
Cornerback Dane Jackson (neck) is another key member of the Bills secondary, which is already without Pro Bowl safety Micah Hyde, who was placed on IR last week.
Buffalo ruled out defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (hamstring), cornerback Christian Benford (hand), and wide receiver Jake Kumerow (ankle).