Per head coach John Harbaugh, the offense and quarterback Lamar Jackson will be without top wide receiver Rashod Bateman for a little while after he reaggravated a foot injury — which already caused him to miss a pair of games in Weeks 5 and 6 — in the team’s Week 8 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Bateman’s a little bit more disappointing in the sense that after the game they thought it was kind of a tweak, but there’s a little more there from a strain standpoint. So, conversations will be had,” Harbaugh said in a press conference on October 31. “It looks like it’s going to be a few weeks for him. We’ll have more to report on that later in the week.”
After playing 36 offensive snaps upon his initial return in Week 7, Bateman was limited to just 13 snaps this past Thursday and was only targeted once on a deep shot down the right sideline that fell incomplete. He ranks third on the team in receiving yards (285), receiving touchdowns (three), and leads them in yards per catch (19).
With Bateman out, the Ravens might finally be ready to give one of their recently signed practice squad wide receivers a shot with an elevation on game day. Former three-time Pro Bowler DeSean Jackson has “looked good at practice” since officially signing with the team and still possesses the blazing speed to help make up for the vertical big-play threat that their 2021 first rounder provides when healthy.
“Let’s preface it by saying he is 36 years old, but he’s a good-looking 36,” Harbaugh said. “He’s running around a little bit. He’s a possibility. I think he probably feels like he’s ready to go. If he is, he could be out there.
“We’d love to see him make some big plays. That would be the hope. He can do all the other things, too. He still can run.”
The Ravens still have talent on the active roster at receiver that stepped up in Bateman’s absence in Week 8 and is capable of doing the same going forward. All-purpose weapon Devin Duvernay can impact the game as a receiver, rusher, and returner. Veteran Demarcus Robinson is a good possession receiver that can make defenders miss in open space. Third-year pro James Proche can be a consistent chain mover out of the slot and has seen his playing increase as of late.
Gus Edwards & Mark Andrews Not Ruled Out for Week 9
While the Ravens are slated to be without their top wideout for multiple weeks, their top running back that also got banged up against the Buccaneers might not even miss one. Over the weekend, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the fifth-year pro was not expected to miss extended time if any with a hamstring injury, and according to head coach John Harbaugh, the wheels on the Gus Bus might be ready to roll for the team’s next game.
“He’ll be day-to-day probably,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see about the Monday night game, he’ll have a chance. It’s a mild hamstring. We’ll see how it goes.”
The Ravens will be back on the road and in primetime in Week 9 when they face the New Orleans Saints in a venue very near and dear to their franchise in the Caesars Superdome which was named Mercedez-Benz Superdome with the 2012 team won Superbowl 47. In addition to Edwards not being ruled out for the game on Monday Night Football, All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews still has a chance to play too.
He left the game against Tampa in the first half and didn’t return after being ruled out with a shoulder injury. The two-time Pro Bowler is Jackson’s most trusted targets and leads the team in targets (64), receptions (42), receiving yards (488), and touchdowns (five).
“Andrews still looks like it’s not a major thing,” Harbaugh said. “It’s something that he’s dealing with like a lot of guys do, but I think he’ll be okay.”
Tyus Bowser & David Ojabo Will Be Activated
When the Ravens return to practice on Wednesday, both outside linebackers will be activated and participating according to Harbaugh. There’s a strong chance that Bowser who led the team in sacks last season could make his 2022 debut this upcoming week against the Saints.
“They’ll both be activated and available. We’ll see what happens,” Harbaugh said. “I think Tyus will be ready to play, for sure. It really kind of comes back to Tyus saying, ‘I’m going.’ He wants to be mentally ready to go. He has targeted this game, so we’ll see. I’m kind of counting on him, to be honest with you.”
While Bowser is a sixth-year veteran that’s been around the block and suffered his torn Achilles a few months before Ojabo, who is a first-year pro who never even got to suit up in the preseason.
“We’ll see where he’s at with it in terms of being ready,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a rookie, but he would also be possible as far as playing in the game.
“We’ve got to get him out there to practice more and see what he looks like. He hasn’t really been in any team period yet. We’ve got to take a look at the team period, look at how much he knows of the defense.”
The Ravens pass rush has been heating up as of late and is highlighted by veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston and his team-leading six sacks that he has accumulated in five games. They also have veteran Jason Pierre-Paul and second-year pro Odafe Oweh who have been consistently disruptive as well. Their interior defensive linemen have been generating consistent pressure and have accounted for 7.5 of the team’s 23 total sacks and 16 of their 42 quarterback hits according to Pro Football Reference.