Mailbag: How Impactful Will Rashod Bateman's Return Be?

WR Rashod Bateman

Mink: Rashod Bateman was the Ravens' top draft pick for a reason. They envisioned a big role for him this season as part of the trio with Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and Sammy Watkins. Bateman certainly looked primed to be a major contributor when he was healthy enough to practice in training camp. He's both fast and quick and can make plays in all areas of the field. Once he's ready to play in a game (no indication on when that will be quite yet), that will free up Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman to exploit more mismatches because it gives Baltimore another outside threat. Brown can play more in the slot and move around the formation. Bateman, who played in the slot in college, can also do the same. Basically, Bateman's return gives the Ravens a more versatile offense.

And, yes, it would definitely take pressure off Brown and Watkins, which could particularly help with Brown coming off a tough game in Detroit with the drops. The more weapons the Ravens have in the passing game, the more defenses will have to respect the vertical passing game, and that will help open up the rushing attack.

Downing: Tackling has certainly been an issue for the Ravens the first three games and something that needs to improve. The coaching staff discussed the tackling issues as a staff Monday morning, and Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated that some more physical practices could be in store. "You have to practice tackling in team periods," he said. "You have to put the pads on as much as possible." Padded practices are rare during the regular season, but the Ravens may ramp up the physicality to help improve on their early tackling woes.

I'd also like to say that I'm not all that concerned with the tackling issues, particularly when it comes to Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison. Both those linebackers are physical players who have willingness to tackle. Yes, they have missed tackles on some key big plays early in this season, but I still think they have the ability. Queen needs to hone in on the fundamentals and with a focus on tackling in practice, I expect to see it improve quickly.

Mink: I think Ty'Son Williams is healthy considering he hasn't been on the injury report at all. I was also a little surprised to see him get only five carries in Detroit, but the Ravens have been pretty clear all along that they are going to share the running back load between he and Latavius Murray. Murray had more carries (seven) but it's not like it was that much more. The more familiar/comfortable Murray gets with the offense, the more the Ravens may lean on the veteran.

As for Le'Veon, I think it's a case of the Ravens simply waiting until they see something they really like in practice. After not being with a team all offseason, Baltimore wants to see Bell get into peak game shape. There's no rush with so many other running backs on the roster. If the Ravens see shades of Bell from his Steelers days in practice, then I think they bring him up to help. He could be particularly useful as a receiving threat – something he did a lot with the Steelers.

Downing: Man, Tucker hasn't even had the record for a week yet and you're already asking if he can break it!? First of all, I expect Tucker's 66-yard field goal record to stand for a little while. There are only a few people in the world who can hit from that distance, and then you need the perfect game situation to even get a chance to do it. Now when it comes to Denver and that thin Mile High air, I do think Tucker could probably get to 70 yards on a warm day with the wind at his back. Remember, he did kick a 75-yard field goal off a tee during Pro Bowl practice in Orlando a few years ago. It's good to know Tucker has that range if needed, but I don't expect him to be teeing any up from that distance on Sunday.

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