DeSean Jackson's Ravens debut is trending toward Monday night.
Head Coach John Harbaugh has seen Jackson practice since he signed on Oct. 18 and says the veteran wide receiver looks ready for game action. The expectation is that Jackson will be elevated from the practice squad to face the Saints on Monday Night Football.
"I think that's a good possibility," Harbaugh said following Thursday's practice. "We're going to keep seeing how he's doing, but I personally think he's probably ready. If he's ready two days from now, then he'll be out there."
Jackson feels confident he's ready.
"If I get the call,[comma] for sure I'll be ready," Jackson said. "It's not my decision, I'm just here taking it day by day getting ready, getting my shape and my body in the best position to go out there and be productive.
"I've been doing this a long time If I wasn't (ready), I wouldn't be here. I enjoyed my time back home this offseason and training camp. Decided to jump back into it. Anytime I'm into something I put my all into it. I'm here. My all is into it. I'm ready."
Harbaugh announced Thursday that No. 1 wide receiver Rashod Bateman elected to have season-ending Lisfranc foot surgery, meaning Jackson could play a larger role than anticipated, particularly as a deep threat. He has steadily built more chemistry with teammates and was animated on the sidelines during last week's victory in Tampa Bay.
"I came into a good group of guys, all out there fighting, trying to do the best they can win games," Jackson said. "Me being in this league a long time having some veteran insights, I know energy plays a big part in that type of stuff. Since I wasn't playing, anything I could do to be a spark on the sideline and motivate guys and get that competitive nature up, that's what I was here doing.
"Getting out there and practicing, going against guys, getting in that element is good for me to do. You can sit home and train as much as you want. Getting out here practicing against guys makes it a lot better. If Monday night's my time, I'll be ready."
Lamar Jackson has been looking forward to seeing Jackson in the lineup.
"He's just floating, and it looks so smooth," Lamar said. "Any time I just throw him the ball, it just falls into his hands. He's still the same DeSean to me – from what I grew up seeing. We're just going to have to see when he gets on that field."
Harbaugh Says J.K. Dobbins Knee Surgery Was a 'Smashing Success'
The Ravens hope running back J.K. Dobbins will return later this season with a healthier knee after undergoing recent arthroscopic surgery. Harbaugh said the prognosis for Dobbins is even brighter following the procedure.
"I would characterize J.K.'s surgery as a smashing success as far as you can tell right now," Harbaugh said. "He has no additional scar tissue since he has come out of there. That was a key thing in the first couple days, does scar tissue start to accumulate; it did not. They got almost all of it out, and it was significant.
"[Dr.] Leigh Ann Curl did the surgery and she told me when she went in there, the MRI didn't tell the whole story.The MRI didn't see all the scar tissue that was in there, so what he was dealing with was very significant. For him to get that freed up, I can't wait until he's out here running around in three or four weeks."
Dobbins missed the entire 2021 season after undergoing major knee surgery. He returned in Week 3 and played four games before opting to have more surgery, rushing for 123 yards and one touchdown while catching six passes for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Ravens Will Face Familiar Foe in Andy Dalton
Monday night will be the Ravens' first time facing Andy Dalton in a Saints uniform, but he's a familiar foe. Dalton has played 18 games against Baltimore during his career – 16 with the Bengals and one game with the Bears and Cowboys. He has an 8-10 career record against Baltimore with 25 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions.
The Saints are 3-5, but they are 2-2 since Dalton took over as the starter in Week 4. He has brought more stability to the offense, completing 65.2% of his passes with a 95.1 quarterback rating, and Harbaugh knows Dalton can be a dangerous quarterback.
"He's capable in so many ways," Harbaugh said. "We've played him so many times; we've seen him on tape so much. We understand his game, and we understand how he can win for an offense. They have a lot of good players around him, but we have all the respect in the world for Andy Dalton. He's made a big difference in their offense."
Tyus Bowser Is Full Participant in Thursday's Practice
Tyus Bowser (Achilles) was a full participant in practice Thursday, another indication that he will play Monday against the Saints barring any setbacks. It would be Bowser's first game this season after injuring his Achilles in the 2021 season finale.
Bowser led the Ravens in sacks last season (7.0) and is an excellent pass defender. His presence could help the Ravens pressure Dalton and defend Alvin Kamara, one of the NFL's top all-purpose running backs.
"The expectation is for him (Bowser) to play," Harbaugh said. "What does he bring? All of the things that you've seen before. He's a very versatile linebacker; he brings you a linebacker skillset and a pass rush/edge skillset. That's what he does."
Rookie pass rusher David Ojabo (Achilles) was also a full practice participant.