Rashod Bateman "will have some work to do" before leading Ravens

Baltimore Ravens, Rashod Bateman
Baltimore Ravens, Rashod Bateman / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

A former first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2021, Rashod Bateman looked primed to get the WR1 role for the upcoming 2023 season after he deal with an endless row of injury issues through his first two years as a pro.

That, though, might now be in peril following his placement on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list by the franchise ahead of training camp. Bateman already missed five games as a rookie and the final 11 games of 2022, so it's still to be seen if he would perform to any great levels in 2023, let alone if he'd be healthy.

That's also what David Latham of Last Word On Sports believes, as he named Bateman in a shortlist of "5 players to watch" during the NFL preseason. According to Latham, Bateman "will have some work to do" once he makes his "long-awaited return."

"Rashod Bateman is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, but reports out of camp indicate it won’t be long before he’s back on the field. Once he makes his long-awaited return, he’ll have some work to do. The wide receiver played well during the start of the 2022 season, but he’ll need to prove that he can recapture that form and actually stay on the field. If he can’t, then newcomers Odell Beckham and Zay Flowers could take over as the top wide receivers in this offense."

David Latham, LWOS

As the analyst sees the situation of Bateman in particular and the Ravens offense as a whole, the third-year wideout "played well during the start of the 2022 season" but Bateman "will need to prove" that he can stay healthy while "recapturing that form."

Baltimore handed a hefty $15 million guaranteed deal to veteran WR Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this offseason, and the team then drafted another wideout with their first-round pick of the draft.

That doesn't mean that they are moving on from Bateman, of course, but they are letting the former first-rounder know that he needs to step up his game (and health) if he wants to keep commanding WR1 chances next season and going forward.

So far, we have yet to watch Bateman hit the field to practice with the rest of his teammates. The Ravens placed him on the PUP list before the start of training camp, and it looks like the injury he suffered last season and the Linsfrac surgery he underwent following that are still lingering and impacting his fitness and availability.

There is still plenty of time before the ball gets rolling in Week 1, but at the same time the summer practices are limited and Bateman would definitely benefit from getting some reps training next to Lamar Jackson and the rest of the members (new and old) of the Ravens offensive unit.

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