Ravens: Rashod Bateman expected to make NFL debut on Sunday

Rashod Bateman, Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Rashod Bateman, Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens are expecting to see the NFL debut of one of their prized rookies this Sunday with first-round pick Rashod Bateman finally expected to return in Week 6.

Bateman has been sidelined since early August with a groin injury and underwent successful surgery later in the month. He was placed on the injured reserve to begin the season with an unknown recovery timetable.

Head coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media on Friday ahead of this Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers and he revealed that the team expects Bateman to play.

Unfortunately, he will step into the wide receiver rotation in place of Sammy Watkins who will miss this week’s game (and perhaps additional time) with a hamstring injury.

Harbaugh referred to Watkins’ injury as a “couple week thing” implying that he could miss more than one game. The Ravens will monitor his status next week to determine if he can play in Week 7.

The Ravens are excited to have Rashod Bateman back in the fold

Bateman turned heads this spring and summer quickly making a strong first impression. The hope was that the former Minnesota standout would provide a sizable boost to a revamped wide receiver corps.

Unfortunately, his injury prevented him from doing so.

Nonetheless, the Ravens have found considerable success in the passing game in recent weeks even without Bateman.

Marquise Brown is on pace for over 1,400 yards, Watkins has nearly 300 yards through five games, and others such as Devin Duvernay and James Proche have impressed. Of course, there’s always the ever-reliable Mark Andrews as well.

Not to mention the fact that Lamar Jackson is playing at an extremely high level right now. Bateman’s return adds yet another talented wide receiver to the best receiving corps the organization has had in a long time.

Now, expectations for Bateman in his debut should probably be tempered. He’s a rookie coming off groin surgery who missed almost all of training camp. On top of that, he’s had virtually no time to develop chemistry with his quarterback.

Expecting big things in his first game would be foolish.

Next. Ravens: When you have Lamar Jackson, you always have a chance. dark

Still, it sure will be nice to see Rashod Bateman take the field this Sunday. And maybe, just maybe, he can make a few plays and provide a glimpse of the player the Ravens took 27th overall in this year’s draft.