When it rains, it pours.
The Baltimore Ravens entered their 2021 opener without several key players after losing the likes of J.K. Dobbins, Marcus Peters, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill for the season.
The injury bug has been ruthless and merciless when dealing with the Ravens’ season so far, and things just took a turn for the worse with the news that left tackle Ronnie Stanley will be out for this week’s showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs, and “possibly longer,” per Jason La Canfora.
We are starting to reach a point where injuries may derail Baltimore’s 2021 campaign. Injuries to J.K. Dobbins and primary blocking tight end Nick Boyle were the first to occur and may have done enough to slow the Ravens down, limiting their options on an offense that heavily relies on their ability to operate in a certain manner. The Ravens still had an excellent team on paper, but things started to reach a boiling point following the season-ending injuries to Peters and Edwards. With Stanley now gone for the foreseeable future, the mountain of bad news could result in a downward spiral they can’t recover from.
The Ravens don't play a style of offense that can sustain injuries to their offensive line. That’s the result of the scheme and style of play they’ve committed themselves to. Things already looked bad up front with new starting right tackle Alejandro Villaneuva, who put in a poor performance against Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby on Monday night. Villaneuva will now move back over to the left side and Patrick Mekari, a third-year, inexperienced player, will take over the reins at right tackle.
The Ravens are 0-1 and a Week 2 game against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Chiefs looms large. Falling to 0-2 is extremely difficult to recover from.
Injuries hurt every team, of course. The 2021 Ravens aren’t any more unlucky than the San Francisco 49ers or Los Angeles Chargers have been in recent years. But these injuries are damning, and every team’s injury issues affect them in different ways. For the Ravens, it may have ruined their season before it even truly started.