A main reason to be optimistic about the Baltimore Ravens in 2021 is their revamped wide receiving corps. While he has won an MVP and taken his team to the playoffs three years in a row, quarterback Lamar Jackson has never had an elite group of receivers. He will have to wait a few weeks before that new-look receiving corps is ready, however, as the team announced on Wednesday it had placed Rashod Bateman and Miles Boykin on injured reserve.
According to NFL rules, both will have to miss at least the first three weeks of the season, but can return in Week 4 when the Ravens travel to Denver to take on the Broncos. Bateman, who was selected with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Minnesota, suffered a groin injury that required surgery. Head coach John Harbaugh said he is expected back sometime this month. As for Boykin, he is dealing with a hamstring issue. This comes on the heels of starting running back J.K. Dobbins being placed on IR with a torn ACL.
In good news for Baltimore, wide receiver Marquise Brown returned to practice this week after missing a month due to a hamstring injury. Still, the Ravens have just five wide receivers on the active roster now: Brown, Sammy Watkins, James Proche II, Devin Duvernay and Tylan Wallace. Brown returning is a positive development, as he was the Ravens' leading receiver in 2020 with 58 catches for 769 yards and eight touchdowns. While he struggled with drops, Brown and tight end Mark Andrews have big playmaking ability which will hopefully carry the offense through the early stages of the regular season.
The Ravens are loaded again. Is this the year Lamar Jackson wins it all? Download the CBS Sports app and get the latest news, insights, and surprising predictions from our team of experts. Favorite the Ravens now if you already have the app.