The Ravens still haven't lost a game when rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley has played. For that reason, Stanley left M&T Bank Stadium a happy man.
That said, it was a rough return to the field for the Ravens' No. 6 overall pick.
Stanley was back on the field Sunday after missing four straight games because of a foot injury. He hadn't played since Sept. 25.
Stanley committed four penalties* *and gave up two sacks, including a sack-strip, to veteran Steelers pass rusher James Harrison in a 21-14 win over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I hope it's a rust issue, and I believe it's a rust issue," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He hasn't played for a long time, and he's a rookie. And he's going against good players.
"His footwork is really important, and his footwork wasn't right like it needed to be, and it got him in some awkward positions, and he grabbed people. I'll have to see the tape to see if [holding] was a smart thing to do or not, but he's capable of playing much better with his feet."
Stanley had three holding and one illegal use of hands (hands to the face) penalties. His first penalty knocked the Ravens out of field-goal range on their opening drive.
Stanley had just three penalties in his first three games combined. His overall grade from Pro Football Focus on Sunday was minus-7.5, which is by far his worst mark of the season.
"It was a fight out there and we got the win, and that's what really matters," Stanley said. "But, yes, I know I can play better."
Stanley was just 8 years old when Harrison played in his first NFL game. Since then, Harrison has racked up 78.5 career sacks in 14 seasons while Stanley was playing in his fourth NFL game.
Harrison can still get it done at 38 years old, especially against the Ravens. Stanley is far from the first Baltimore left tackle to have trouble blocking him. That said, Harrison's two sacks against Stanley were his first of the season.
Stanley was asked how much his issues were a factor of the Steelers' pass rush and how much was an issue of missing four games.
"I think it was a little bit of both," he said. "Just coming off missing four games and just to play in this game [was tough]. Once you're in the game, you're going against one of the more prolific bull rushers in the whole NFL. He's been doing it for years and it was definitely a good challenge for myself and just the whole offense.
Afterwards, Stanley said his foot was "a little sore, but it's getting better.
He won't have much time for rest as the Ravens will be back in action Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium.