The Baltimore Ravens made it their business to add to the receiver room this year. They signed veteran free agent Sammy Watkins. They selected wide receivers Tylan Wallace and Rashod Bateman in the NFL Draft. Tee Martin was added as the wide receiver coach.
Bateman was the 27th overall pick and yielded the most promise heading into the season. Unfortunately, he missed some time during training camp due to a nagging groin injury.
“I don’t necessarily think it held me back, but I just think it was valuable time that I missed, as far as getting reps with Lamar [Jackson] and ‘Snoop’ [Tyler Huntley], and things like that, and just having those practice reps. But when I came back, I feel like I hit it running. So, now, I’m just looking forward to next year. Like I said, just looking forward to getting better,” Bateman said.
Bateman was placed on injured reserve to start the season after undergoing groin surgery. The Ravens activated him on October 16 to the 53-man roster from injured reserve. In Week 14 Bateman recorded his first 100-yard game catching seven passes for 103 yards in a 22–24 loss against the Cleveland Browns.
The rookie receiver finished with 46 receptions for 515 yards and a touchdown in 12 games. For the most part, Bateman remained healthy once he was restored to the active roster and showed flashes of his potential to be a productive player in the future.
“I’m just glad I got out healthy. I feel like I’m going into the offseason strong so I can work on the things that I need to work on to come back next year and have a better chance of performing at a higher level,” Bateman said. “My rookie season, it went OK in my opinion, coming back from injury and working my way back. I’m just thankful to be here, be a part of this organization, and I’m looking forward to the future.”
Bateman vowed to improve in multiple ways during the offseason. But the biggest area of focus for him will be getting into his film study and to further develop his football IQ. He felt that the biggest difference from college to the NFL was that everyone has a similar talent level. Football IQ is the key to performing at a high level.
The other thing that Bateman will do is work to develop even better chemistry with his quarterback Lamar Jackson. Bateman says that they will likely get together at some point for some throwing sessions. That will help build momentum rolling into next season.
The season didn’t end the way the Ravens wanted it to. Their 16-13 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season finale killed their playoff hopes. However, Bateman feels he is in a great spot.
“I couldn’t be in a more blessed situation,” Bateman said. “And this year has definitely taught me that being a part of this organization is an honor, and I carry that with pride, for sure. We were never out of it. Despite the cards that we got dealt this year, this team was never out of it until the end. It’s something special to be a part of that. I know we’re going to come out hungry for next year.”