Rashod Bateman getting targets for Ravens

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman couldn’t help but get frustrated by a spate of injuries that kept him out of the lineup.

There were days that Bateman also wanted to play a bigger role in the offense.

Bateman has fought through the tough times to become a key playmaker.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh has never lost faith in the former first-round pick.

[Rashod Bateman]’s been through so much adversity, personally, with basically the injuries,” Harbaugh said. “[He was] a high pick [with] high expectations, and then [he was] fighting through injuries [and] fighting through injuries. Then, this year, that settled out kind of early [in the] season. Then, [he was] grinding every single day, going to work [and] stacking practices, knowing at some point in time.

“[It’s] disappointing sometimes after games, you know? Maybe he didn’t get as many balls as he wanted, or maybe he didn’t make a catch he wanted to make, yet [he was] not letting that get him down and knowing a big day was coming.”

The Ravens selected Bateman with the 27th overall pick in 2021 from Minnesota.

He missed five games as a rookie because of a groin surgery. The following year, Bateman was sidelined for 11 games by a foot injury.

This season, he has managed to stay mostly healthy and has caught 32 passes for 367 yards and a touchdown.

In last week’s 56-19 victory over the Dolphins, Bateman had a season-high four catches for 54 yards. He made several of those receptions in tight traffic and managed to get yards after the catch.

Harbaugh had a hunch Bateman was due for a big game.

“I don’t know if he wants me to tell you this, but I told him,” Harbaugh said. “He came to me – I saw him Friday – [and] I said, ‘Big game ‘Bate.’ It’s going to be a big game for ‘Bate,’’ and he came up with some massive catches for us. He kept some drives going. That’s just a prelude to what’s coming.” 

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