Posted in NFL News

Rashod Bateman injury tempers excitement for Ravens preseason

By Chris Schisler

According to reports, Rashod Bateman suffered a groin injury at Ravens training camp today. It’s the latest wave of bad news from camp the Ravens have gotten. There is a lot about the injury that is unknown at this point. We don’t have a defined timetable for his return. We don’t know how bad it is going to be for the rookie from Minnesota.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the injury is not structural. Okay, I’m not a doctor but that at least sounds like it’s not the worst-case scenario. Bateman had already missed practices due to muscle tightness. His rookie camp hasn’t been picture-perfect even though he’s given us a couple of promising August highlights.

Pro Football Focus injury Mario Pilato reported some information via Twitter that looks into the potential timetable. According to Pilato, there are three grades of severity to this kind of injury. The best-case scenario he reports is two-three weeks. He hints that Grade 2 is possible which would keep Bateman out three to six weeks.

Grade 3 is something the Ravens don’t want to hear, that’s three to four months. On NFL Network,  Rapoport spoke about the injury as a soft tissue injury, which the reporter says could mean a less severe time away from the field.

That’s basically all we know at the moment. Ravens fans are probably having flashbacks to the injury of Breshad Perriman in 2015. Perriman was possibly the most disappointing receiver in franchise history. The Ravens made it seem as if it was a less serious injury at first, yet the injury took away Perriman’s season.

Rashod Bateman missing time is a tough pill for fans to swallow:

The Bateman injury probably won’t be as dramatic based on the current information. It still is impossible not to have that 2015 nightmare pop into your mind if you’re a Ravens fan. It also doesn’t stave away gloom that Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, and Deon Cain have all been reportedly dealing with injuries.

If you asked most Ravens fans, who they’d want to see most in preseason football, you’d get a lot of Rashod Bateman answers. When Bateman had a touchdown against Marlon Humphrey at the open stadium practice it piqued the interest of the fanbase. Bateman clearly has talent and the Ravens have been starving for a young wide receiver to be a superstar.

At the very least, this kills the mood. This is the first week of the 2021 season where the purple and black have a game. On top of injury troubles for other receivers, new right guard Kevin Zeitler and cornerback Jimmy Smith, Bateman’s injury is added to the pile.

Fans spent another draft season pleading with the Ravens to take one of the top prospects at wide receiver. Bateman getting drafted, a player that I believe to be the real deal (so do many analysts), was a huge win for the fans. Every drill, every snap, every up and down for Bateman is going to be a huge focus.

Rashod Bateman injury affects a lot of different things:

It’s very likely that Bateman won’t play a single snap until the Ravens are underway in the regular season. That’s not ideal for a rookie. While mental reps are important, young players make the jump from college to the NFL ranks mostly by doing. Between injuries and Lamar Jackson being in Covid-19 quarantine, Bateman hasn’t had much of a chance to build chemistry with his starting quarterback.

The Ravens have some wide receivers who could take advantage of the practice absences of Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman. Devin Duvernay and James Proche are almost becoming the top two targets not named Sammy Watkins, just by default. Binjimen Victor and Jaylon Moore are likely getting more chances to fight for a roster spot. This is bad news for the Ravens and good news for young receivers with something to prove.

NEXT POST: Should Baltimore Ravens play Lamar Jackson in preseason

At the moment there isn’t a ton of information to go off of. One thing is for sure, any injury is hard to see in training camp. This is especially true when it’s the first-round pick that the Ravens Flock is absolutely buzzed for.