While the Ravens dominated in the second half and rolled to victory, All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley was on the sideline with an ankle injury.
Stanley left the game in the third quarter and did not return. However, Head Coach John Harbaugh said he did not expect Stanley to miss significant time. With the Ravens ahead comfortably in their 38-6 victory, there was no reason to chance further injury.
"It's not a serious injury," Harbaugh said. "Just a little tightening up there. He got rolled on. It's not a serious injury to my knowledge right now. (I) don't expect it to become one tomorrow."
Stanley was replaced by D.J. Fluker, the veteran offensive lineman who was signed by Baltimore this offseason. After being examined on the sideline, Stanley walked around gingerly at one point, looking like he wanted to test the level of pain when he put weight on his ankle. It was a good sign that Stanley remained on the sideline instead of disappearing into the locker room for further examination.
While the Ravens finished off the Browns without Stanley, they are not interested in playing without him for an extended period of time. Stanley is arguably the best player in the NFL at his position, protecting Lamar Jackson's blindside while using his athleticism and strength to execute blocks that some left tackles cannot.
"It starts with his athleticism," Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday. "He's gotten a lot stronger, which I really think has allowed his game to take a big jump the past year, year-and-a-half. And knowledge of the game; he's very intelligent. I was here with Jonathan Ogden, who's probably one of the smartest players I've ever been around. Ronnie's knowledge and experience are climbing, and he's very intelligent when it comes to football. The 'X-factor' – meaning experience – has really factored into a classic story of a guy with a lot of talent, who was young when he first got into the league, was able to go out and play and let experience be his guide. So, we're really happy where he's at and have really high expectations for Ronnie."
Check out the action from M&T Bank Stadium in Week 1 as the Ravens take on the Cleveland Browns.