As it stands, it’s been one step forward and one step back for the Baltimore Ravens in training camp. They’re ecstatic to have former league MVP Lamar Jackson back from the COVID/Reserve list after his second battle with the disease, but he may have to wait to build chemistry with Rashod Bateman, the team’s rookie first-round pick. Bateman was seen leaving Ravens practice on Tuesday with a noticeable limp and did not return, per Jonas Schaffer of The Baltimore Sun, and it’s believed the first-year wideout suffered a potential groin or core injury.
The injury occurred in one-on-one drills against veteran cornerback Marcus Peters, when Bateman made a cut on a route and then went down in noticeable pain. It’s a cause for very real concern as he undergoes evaluation, and especially with the Ravens having drafted him to help upgrade their mostly unimpressive WR corps.
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Add to to this the absence of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (another former first-round pick) with a hamstring injury the team says “turned out to be worse” than they initially thought — per head coach John Harbaugh — and the veteran wideout will be “out until he’s back”. If Bateman misses time alongside Brown, the onus will be a player like Miles Boykin to step up, a third-year receiver who’s amassed just 464 combined receiving yards in his first two years with the club — in 24 starts — and newly signed free agent Sammy Watkins; who signed a one-year, $6 million deal with Baltimore in April.
Bateman was the 27th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and is a former All-Big Ten talent who also won honors as the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year in 2019 for his work at Minnesota. All the Ravens can do now is hope for the best, because watching him go down at practice and leave with a painful limp isn’t a good sign for him or their receiving corps.