Wed, 27 Oct 2021

News & Notes: 'We'll See' If Rashod Bateman Returns in Week 4

Baltimore Ravens
23 Sep 2021, 05:25 GMT+10

Clifton Brown

Rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman (groin) began the regular season on the injured list, making him ineligible for the first three games. Asked on Wednesday for an update on Bateman's status, Head Coach John Harbaugh said he is not certain if the first-round draft pick will return Week 4 against the Denver Broncos.

"We'll see," Harbaugh said. "That's part of the process. It's hard to predict that stuff. I've tried to predict it before, usually hasn't worked out, so I'll probably try and stay away from that."

Marquise "Hollywood" Brown (12 catches, 182 yards, two touchdowns), Sammy Watkins (eight catches, 140 yards) and Mark Andrews (eight catches, 77 yards) have been the targets on 28 of the 37 completions thrown by Lamar Jackson.

Bateman, selected by Baltimore with the 27th overall pick, looked good when healthy during training camp and is expected to be a key weapon once he returns from groin surgery.

Harbaugh did not give an update on All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle), who did not play Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs after playing in the season-opener. Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury last November.

Justin Madubuike Ready for Increased Workload

Justin Madubuike played 49 percent of the defensive snaps against the Chiefs, which was the third-highest percentage of his young career. He could see an even heavier workload Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Defensive end Derek Wolfe (back/hip) has missed the first two games and defensive tackle Brandon Williams left Sunday's game in the second half (neck strain).

Madubuike had an outstanding training camp, causing several teammates and coaches to remark about his potential to become Pro Bowler. The second-year defensive tackle says he's ready for more responsibility if asked.

"It felt good to play, I definitely want to play as many snaps as I can," Madubuike said. "I'm just trying to do whatever I can to build this team, build the defense. I wasn't even tired. It didn't feel like I played that much. I had a lot of energy that night. As long as I have that, I can play all game."

Madubiuike made a huge play late in the third quarter when he blew up running back Darrell Williams in the backfield for a 5-yard loss.

Madubuike's tackle led to a third-and-12 situation that resulted in a Chiefs turnover. Patrick Mahomes threw an off-balance pass while being pressured by Odafe Oweh that was intercepted by Tavon Young. Trailing 35-24 at the time, the Ravens rallied for a 36-35 victory, and Madubuike is glad his play provided a spark.

"I just wanted to create a momentum-switcher," Madubuike said. "Pat Mahomes is a very good player, we all know that. When he gets going he can really get going so you need to make a play."

Ravens to Face Another Elite Tight End in T.J. Hockenson

So far this season, the Ravens have had their hands full with Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller in Week 1 and Travis Kelce in Week 2. Another elite player awaits this weekend in T.J. Hockenson of the Lions, who leads all NFL tight ends in receptions (16) for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

"He's their best guy," Harbaugh said. "He's the guy they go to. Jared Goff's looking for him. They've got plenty of good players over there, but he's the straw that stirs the drink. He can make every kind of play, runs every kind of route. They try to scheme him open every different kind of way they can. He's a guy we've got to be very aware of."

Just like Kelce and Waller, Hockenson is a problem to tackle once he makes the catch.

Kelce made at least four Ravens miss on his 46-yard touchdown reception Sunday night. Overall, Harbaugh wants to see Baltimore's tackling improve.

"It was spotty at certain times," Harbaugh said. "[On] the two big plays, we missed 10 tackles. We had some good tackling moments. It's a hard team to tackle; they get you in space a lot. But they had big plays where we didn't tackle well at all, and we've got to work on that."

Harbaugh Supports Effort to Reduce Taunting

The NFL's emphasis on enforcing taunting penalties this season has become a talking point, with some players and coaches upset about some penalties that have been called.

The Ravens have avoided a penalty for taunting so far, and Harbaugh understands why the league has taken on the issue.

"I haven't personally looked at any of the calls so far. I agree with the idea," Harbaugh said. "Sportsmanship is very important, the way we treat one another is very important. I think the NFL is out in front in so many ways. We're high-profile. Kids watch us all the time, so the way we treat one another on the field is very important. It's about respect. How it gets interpreted from game to game, I think that's something you've got to work through."

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