Rashod Bateman is back. The Ravens should still be worried about him

Baltimore Ravens v New York Jets
Baltimore Ravens v New York Jets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman took the final step toward a return to full-speed practicing with the rest of his teammates on Wednesday as he graced the fields of The Castle for the first time through training camp.

The franchise announced the news right before the start of Day 13 of training camp, making it publicly known that Bateman was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list following Lisfranc surgery last November.

The wideout, expected to man the WR1 role on the Ravens offense for the 2023 season, underwent surgery before the end of the 2022 season.

Bateman entered the training camp portion of the summer sitting in the PUP list, and when asked about what was going on with the receiver after Day 1 of practicing Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters that the Lisfranc surgery "is good," and Bateman "is fine."

The receiver, who was drafted with the 27th-overall pick back in 2021 by the Ravens, left Minnesota early to declare for the draft. He's under contract through the 2024 season, with a pending fifth-year option the Ravens will need to decide whether to pick up or not.

Bateman briefly participated in a limited capacity during OTAs earlier this summer, but it was later revealed that he had received a cortisone shot in his foot, leading to his subsequent absence from minicamp and then two weeks of training camp.

The franchise blamed "lingering soreness" as the reason delaying Bateman's return to the practice field, and once we watched him return Bateman started the day as any other Ravens player on Wednesday but was shortly moved to an adjacent field to practice on his own and individually.

According to Timothy Dashiell of The Baltimore Sun, Bateman only "took part in some warmups and low-intensity drills before joining the strength staff for individual work." That said, Dashiel also reported that Bateman "showed off the burst and quickness that has become common for [a first-round WR]."

Luke Jones of Baltimore Positive echoed similar information, writing in his post-practice report that Batman "moved well during individual drills with the receivers before shifting to a side field for agility work."

As Jones wrote himself, the Ravens should take it easy bringing Bateman back to training if they don't want to suffer any setback. However, that's enough reason for concern in the grand scheme of things.

The Ravens have an overloaded room of pass catchers, yes, but if you remove Bateman and count on someone suffering even the slightest of health issues through the regular season, things could start to look ugly.

J.K. Dobbins is in the middle of a hold-in and sitting-out practice, thus thinning the backfield depth and expected production. Odell Beckham Jr. is coming back after nearly two years on the shelves. Zay Flowers looks electric but he's an unproven commodity. On and on it goes...

Bateman is back, and we're glad about that. But let's wait for a day or eight and see how his recovery develops as he gears up for the start of the regular season before making any rushed judgment about his readiness.

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