Ravens: Injury to Rashod Bateman opens the door for other receivers

Ravens Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens have had some unfortunate news hit them this week, as rookie first-round receiver Rashod Bateman is having surgery and is expected to return sometime in September. John Harbaugh announced this news on Thursday morning and it’s a blow to the Ravens’ receiving corps.

While injuries are never a good thing, this opens things up for the other receivers on the roster to step up and make the most of their opportunities in the preseason. These receivers include Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and fourth-round rookie Tylan Wallace, all of whom have had good camps to this point.

Duvernay is entering year two and had a nice rookie campaign. The 2020 third-round pick out of Texas hauled in 20 receptions for 201 yards and also made a name for himself on special teams. He might be in a position to move up on the depth chart early in the season and stay there even when Bateman returns.

Proche was also a rookie last year, having been selected by the Ravens in the sixth round of last year’s draft out of SMU. Unlike Duvernay, Proche didn’t have a ton of opportunities to shine last year, totaling just one reception for 14 yards through 14 games. He appeared in just 2% of offensive snaps and 14% on special teams. He can make the biggest leap with Bateman’s absence.

Wallace is a rookie this year and was so explosive at Oklahoma State, making him a candidate to gain the most from Bateman’s absence. Wallace exposed defenses during the 2018 college football season, grabbing 86 receptions for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns. He didn’t exceed those numbers over the final two seasons but had over 900 yards in 2019 and 2020.

Other Ravens receivers can benefit from Rashod Bateman’s absence

Losing Bateman is a tremendous blow to this offense. Yes, he’s a rookie but the Ravens spent a first-round pick on him with the expectation that he’d be able to step in and contribute right away.

Fortunately, the surgery won’t keep him out for too long and he could see a return for one of the Ravens’ biggest games of the season, which is against Kansas City on Sept. 19. This is the best-case scenario here, as he wouldn’t miss a ton of time and the Ravens would get him back in time for one of their most important games.

4 Standouts from Training Camp. dark. Next

Here’s to hoping Rashod Bateman can return soon and make a huge difference in the Ravens’ offense.