OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Shifting their attention toward a Week 5 meeting with Washington, the Ravens continue to be without their starting left tackle on the practice field.
After missing the Week 4 loss to Oakland while nursing a foot injury, rookie first-rounder Ronnie Stanley was once again absent during Wednesday’s practice. Third-year lineman James Hurst took his place against the Raiders and struggled mightily against Pro Bowl defensive end Khalil Mack.
It remains to be seen whether fellow rookie Alex Lewis will shift outside to left tackle if Stanley is unable to play for a second straight week. Lewis was active for Sunday’s loss, but missing the entire week of practice prompted head coach John Harbaugh to use Ryan Jensen at left guard.
The Ravens have made it clear that they’re taking no chances with their injured left tackle, but Stanley told reporters that it’s been difficult being on the sideline.
“We just have to keep working on his foot,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “I know Ronnie says he could have played, and he probably could have. He could probably play this week, so we will just have to see how we decide to do it — along with what the doctors say — and we will figure it out. You want to do what is best for the team short term and long term and what is best for the player short term and long term. Our guys’ health is really important to us. We are not throwing guys out there before they are ready.”
Veteran return specialist Devin Hester was also absent from Wednesday’s practice and continues to be listed with a thigh injury. Hester did play against Oakland, but he fumbled a return for the second straight week.
After practicing on a limited basis last week and missing his fourth straight game on Sunday, rookie running back Kenneth Dixon (knee) practiced fully and is on track to make his NFL debut in Week 5.
Cornerback Maurice Canady (thigh) and tight end Maxx Williams (knee) were missing from the workout. The Ravens elevated tight end Daniel Brown to the 53-man roster and welcomed Darren Waller back to practice from his four-game suspension, but the latter isn’t on the current 53-man roster.
The maneuvering at the tight end position leaves one to wonder about the status of Williams moving forward.
“It’s the same thing he’s had. It’s a cartilage issue that he has in there,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not something that can be fixed until it’s fixed. It’s just something he has to play with and play through. The doctors have to tell us what the best course of action is going forward. He can still play.
“Is it the best thing for him and all of that? We’ll have to figure that out.”
The Ravens were granted a roster exemption for Waller, meaning they can wait until Monday to either place him on the 53-man roster or subject him to waivers.
No formal announcement was made during practice, but second-year wide receiver Kenny Bell was on the field for the Ravens on Wednesday morning. Bell was a 2015 fifth-round selection of Tampa Bay and played his college ball at Nebraska.
Meanwhile, Washington was missing four players from practice, a list including starting cornerback Bashaud Breelan (ankle) and rookie first-round receiver Josh Doctson (Achilles)
Below is Wednesday’s full injury:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Maurice Canady (thigh), WR/RS Devin Hester (thigh), OT Ronnie Stanley (foot), TE Maxx Williams (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Sheldon Price (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: RB Kenneth Dixon (knee)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle), S Su’a Cravens (concussion), WR Josh Doctson (Achilles), CB Dashaun Phillips (hamstring)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: DE Chris Baker (elbow/toe), LB Ryan Kerrigan (elbow), G Shawn Lauvao (ankle), OT Trent Williams (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: RB Robert Kelley (finger), LB Trent Murphy (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (hand)