The Baltimore Ravens named homegrown talent and wide receiver Rashod Bateman as their no. 1 wide receiver at the end of August and entered the first week of the 2023 NFL season.
Bateman, coming off a year that saw him suffer a season-ending injury and Linsfranc foot surgery, was expected to have (once and for all) a breakout campaign in Baltimore. Turns out he's not quite exploded, not at least to date.
"It feels good. I feel I'm getting back to my old self, maybe even better than I was before. I feel like we're heading the right direction. I haven't lost confidence in myself. Just taking advantage of all the opportunities that I get."- Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Bateman said that he is "getting back to my old self," which means he is slowly but surely returning to his best version and that he expects to put up better performances as the season grows older.
Bateman had a two-catch outing last Sunday at Arizona, as well as getting a bunch of yardage on a jet sweep run. That, however, is not gonna cut it if we're talking about production vs. expectations, which were (and still are) gaudy.
His teammates, most prominently quarterback Lamar Jackson, said "We know what [Bateman] is capable of," a couple of days ago. Jackson believes Bateman "just needs more opportunities."
Bateman, however, was targeted just twice on Sunday even though he made the most of those looks by racking up 29 yards.
John Harbaugh also touched on Bateman's season by saying the wide receiver's second half of the year "is going to be big."
Entering Week 9, Bateman has appeared in seven games catching 14 of 20 targets for 152 yards. He has yet to score his first touchdown of the season, but Bateman has earned the Ravens six first-downs with his pass-catching abilities. Bateman also got 18 yards on the ground against the Cardinals last weekend.