Bateman, Dobbins not participating at start of Ravens’ mandatory minicamp

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — On the same day Odell Beckham Jr. made his much-awaited practice debut, the Ravens revealed fellow starting wide receiver Rashod Bateman would not be taking part in this week’s mandatory minicamp.

After participating in voluntary spring workouts on a limited basis, Bateman recently received an injection for his surgically-repaired left foot, according to head coach John Harbaugh. The 2021 first-round pick underwent season-ending surgery for a Lisfranc injury last November and appeared to be moving well in workouts earlier in the spring, but he hadn’t been doing full-team drills and didn’t take part in last week’s organized team activity open to media.

Bateman watched Tuesday’s minicamp workout from the sideline and didn’t appear to be favoring his foot or limping when walking around.

“I’m not expecting ‘Bate’ to be a part of it right now,” Harbaugh said. “He had a shot for healing purposes — cortisone-type deal — so that will keep him out for a couple days. We just decided to just let him keep rehabbing and make sure he’s ready to go for training camp.”

The Ravens are wise to be cautious with the talented 6-foot-1, 197-pound receiver, who has played in just 18 games over his first two seasons. Bateman missed the first five games of his rookie season after undergoing groin surgery midway through training camp and played in only six contests last season with a foot injury originally suffered in Week 4.

Having dealt with injuries throughout his career and sitting out the entire 2022 season after undergoing two ACL reconstruction surgeries in less than two years, the 30-year-old Beckham can certainly relate to any frustration Bateman might be feeling.

“When you come back from being injured, there’s always that little bit of fear that you have to get over,” Beckham said. “It’s like you don’t want it to happen again or whatever. We haven’t talked about it as much in the room, but he was training with me [in Arizona], and we chopped it up about it. I think he’s headed in the right direction. We’re all gearing up [and] getting ready for the season.”

Bateman wasn’t the only notable offensive player sitting out Tuesday’s practice as starting running back J.K. Dobbins wasn’t on the field after skipping all of voluntary spring workouts. Dobbins’ long-term future has been a hot topic of conversation in recent weeks, but the fourth-year running back is dealing with a minor injury, according to The Athletic.

Asked to discuss how Dobbins will be featured in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s system prior to Tuesday’s practice, Harbaugh gave no indication that the 2020 second-round pick would be sitting out.

“It’s going to be interesting how he fits in because J.K. has got a lot of dynamic ability — backfield, motion, wide plays, inside plays, even the A-gap plays that we’ve always run,” Harbaugh said. “As a receiver out of the backfield, I think he’s got a lot of potential. I’m very excited about J.K. and how he’s going to fit in here.”

Though Dobbins wasn’t on the field, fellow running back Gus Edwards was participating on a limited basis after only working out on a side field during voluntary OTAs. Harbaugh said last week that Edwards would be “fully ready” for the start of training camp.

Other veterans making their spring practice debut on Tuesday included left tackle Ronnie Stanley, right guard Kevin Zeitler, and outside linebacker Tyus Bowser. While Stanley and Zeitler took their full allotment of reps during full-team drills, Bowser only worked out during individual drills and left the field before the conclusion of practice.

Bateman and Dobbins weren’t the only players absent as fullback Patrick Ricard, cornerback Damarion Williams, defensive tackle Rayshad Nichols, wide receiver Mike Thomas, and guard Andrew Vorhees were also sidelined. Harbaugh said Williams will be out until training camp with an unspecified injury suffered earlier in the spring, and Vorhees, a seventh-round rookie out of USC, is expected to miss the entire 2023 season with a torn ACL sustained at the scouting combine in March.

The Ravens waived rookie tight end Brian Walker on Monday and had a number of tryout players taking part on Tuesday, a list including wide receiver Michael Bandy, tight end Connor Davis, wide receiver Wesley Wolfolk, kicker Eddie Ogamba, and long snapper Alex Matheson.

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