At the top of the AFC North standings going into this week, the Baltimore Ravens will have to fight for a division title without their top receiving target for the rest of the year.
Second-year wide receiver Rashod Bateman will undergo Lisfranc surgery that will sideline him until next year, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced on Thursday.
Bateman, Baltimore’s first-round draft pick in 2021, made 15 grabs for 285 yards and a pair of scores this go-round. As a rookie, he played in a dozen games — starting four — and went for 46 catches, 515 yards, and a touchdown. He missed the first five games after groin surgery and sat out Weeks 5 and 6 while nursing a foot ailment.
He had a 100-yard game in a high-scoring affair against Miami in Week 2 of the current campaign, but has been listed on the Ravens’ practice report with a foot sprain each week since Week 5.
Bateman injured his foot against Buffalo in the week prior to that. He had three receptions for 17 yards in that matchup, a 23-20 defeat to one of the AFC’s Super Bowl contenders.
Baltimore is 5-3 to this point in the schedule. The Ravens have won three of their last four games — including consecutive victories against Cleveland and Tampa Bay.
Veteran wideout DeSean Jackson joined the team last month and figures to play a part in making up for the lost production. At 35 years old, he’s paced the league in receiving yards on four occasions. No one has caught more touchdowns of at least 60 yards (26) in league history.
Other pass-catchers on Baltimore’s roster are Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson, Tylan Wallace, and James Proche II. Tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely factor into the passing game, as well. Miles Boykin, who was with the Ravens last season, is now playing for the Steelers.
The Steelers are set to play Baltimore at home in Week 14 and on the road in Week 17. The Ravens haven’t won against Pittsburgh since 2019, when they swept the season series.