NFL News & Analysis

Baltimore Ravens' Rashod Bateman returns to practice, could play Week 4 vs. Denver Broncos

Owings Mills, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman (12) in action during an OTA at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are getting an offensive boost this week as wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Miles Boykin return to practice.

Bateman and Boykin were designated to return from the injured reserve Wednesday. They can begin practicing immediately.

Bateman underwent surgery on Aug. 13 after suffering a groin injury in training camp. The 2021 first-round pick is feeling good and moving like his normal self, a source told PFF.

The Ravens will take it day-by-day with the Minnesota product as he returns to practice, but it’s “possible” he’ll play Sunday against the Denver Broncos. If the 2-1 Ravens decide to hold Bateman out, then he’ll likely make his debut Week 5 on Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts.

Bateman and Boykin will join Marquise Brown, Sammy Watkins, Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace on Baltimore’s wide receiver depth chart.

The Ravens’ offense needs all of the help they can get after losing running backs J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill to season-ending injuries this summer.

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Bateman looked set for a hot start: Bateman was selected 10 picks later than his spot on the PFF Big Board (27th versus 17th). Offensive coordinator Greg Roman told PFF reporter Doug Kyed at training camp prior to the injury that he “saw some real potential in terms of how we [the Ravens] can deploy him [Bateman],” and that he was “doing a really good job.” Related: Rashod Bateman has chance to transform the Baltimore Ravens wide receiver group via Doug Kyed

Bateman is an NFL-ready receiver: The Minnesota product found success playing both outside and inside for the Golden Gophers but notably generated 3.60 yards per route run from the outside in 2019, the fifth-highest mark by a Power Five wide receiver in the PFF College era. Click here for Rashod Bateman's 2021 NFL Draft scouting profile.

The new No. 1 option: Marquise Brown's struggles last week were clear for all to see, but Bateman is the potential No. 1 option this offense has been missing. His last two seasons in college saw him average 3.5 yards per route run overall, and he won in a variety of ways. Click here for PFF Premium Stats. 

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders.


Add Rashod Bateman off the waiver wire: The talented first-rounder could easily come in and unseat Marquise Brown as the team's primary alpha. Stash him across all formats on IR spots if possible. Click here for PFF's Fantasy Football Projections.

A back-end WR4/5If Bateman suits up he will be a back-end WR4/5 option, just outside the top 50 wide receivers. This week, the Ravens will face off against the Denver Broncos, who field PFF's No. 1 graded coverage unit, so take a wait-and-see approach with the rookie. Click here for PFF's WR/CB Matchup Chart.

A min. bid will likely work: Bateman could work back slowly, but expect him to immediately take over Duvernay's role and eventually bump Watkins off the field in two-receiver sets. In deeper leagues, be willing to use 10% of FAB allocation. In the medium to smaller formats, a minimum bid will likely work. Click here to see Dwain McFarland's Week 4 fantasy football utilization report.

Click here for PFF Greenline‘s exclusive game and player data, which makes projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Baltimore is rebounding: After leading the NFL in PFF WAR-adjusted injuries lost, the Ravens have finally started to receive some good news in the injury area. The first-rounder receiver's return is nothing but positive for a Ravens passing attack that has flashed at points but been torpedoed by drops in crucial spots. Click here for PFF Greenline‘s exclusive game and player data, which makes projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

Bet the Browns: Bateman helps the Ravens' long-term outlook, but the team still has a tough path to winning the AFC North, according to PFF's Power Rankings Tool. Right now, our simulation gives them a 23% chance of winning the division, despite the betting market offering a break-even percentage of 48.8%. Take the Browns here, as they offer the most value to win the AFC North right now.  PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.

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