Rashod Bateman, Miles Boykin Returning to Practice
A pair of Ravens offensive weapons are on their way back, as wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Miles Boykin will return to practice this week, Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday.
Bateman suffered his groin injury on Aug. 10 during a training camp practice, about a week after Boykin injured his hamstring on Aug. 2. Bateman and Boykin have now missed the required three games after going on injured reserve at the start of the season.
"They're both going to come back and practice and we'll see where that takes us," Harbaugh said.
The Ravens will travel to Denver this Sunday for a game against the undefeated Broncos, who have one of the league's stingiest defenses so far. As Harbaugh said, it remains to be seen how quickly his wide receivers could jump back into game action.
Bateman was very impressive in training camp before his injury, showing an ability to make plays at every level of the field. The Ravens' top draft pick would provide another weapon for Lamar Jackson, who threw for the second-most yards (287) in any career regular-season game in Detroit.
Boykin would also help the offense, particularly as a perimeter blocker. As 13-game starter last year, Boykin had 19 catches for 266 yards and four touchdowns.
Harbaugh said tight end Nick Boyle, who was also placed on injure reserve at the start of the year, is not ready to return to practice.
No Update Yet on Ronnie Stanley's Status
One of the Ravens' biggest lingering injury questions is when All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley will return to the field.
After missing much of last season, Stanley played in Week 1 in Las Vegas but hasn't practiced or suited up since as his ankle is being evaluated.
"It's still in process. He's meeting with doctors even as we speak," Harbaugh said. "We'll find out pretty soon. Decisions have to be made. I wouldn't want to comment further than that."
Alejandro Villanueva slid from right tackle to left tackle and had an exceptional game against the Chiefs in Week 2. He gave up eight pressures, per Pro Football Focus, in Detroit.
Safety DeShon Elliott (quad) was the only known injury to come out of the Lions game. Elliott, who returned from a concussion suffered last week, came back into the game for a bit before leaving again.
"That will be ongoing. We'll just have to see how it goes," Harbaugh said. "It's a muscle-type of a thing, so you just have to see how those go."
Ravens 'Very Determined' to Improve on Tackling Fundamentals This Week
After shutting out the Lions in the first half of Sunday's game, running back D'Andre Swift and others started to gash Baltimore's defense in the second half.
Swift is a very shifty back, particularly as a receiver, but the Ravens know they could have tackled better. Harbaugh said the team talked about it Monday morning.
"All the drills are fine. You can roll those donuts out there all you want, but that's not going to make anybody a great tackler. We can all go tackle a donut. Many of us do. Some of you guys more than others, right?" Harbaugh said.
"But you have to practice tackling in team periods. You have to put the pads on as much as possible. We haven't had a chance to do that during the regular season, yet, unfortunately, because of our situations and the timing of how the games have fallen. You have to front people up when you're in shells."
Harbaugh said players have to do a better job of getting to the right spot with their eyes and feet.
"Those are all the things we have to do better, and our guys know that," Harbaugh said. "It's easier said than done in full speed. Those [running] backs are good, and they make people miss. But all the backs in the league are like that. So, we just have to get a lot better at it. We're all very determined to get it done."
How Much Deeper Can Justin Tucker Go?
Sammy Watkins got Justin Tucker just far enough for his record-setting 66-yard field goal in Detroit.
If the attempt had been even just a bit longer, Harbaugh said he would not have sent Tucker out for the kick.
"Honestly, probably not. I don't know how you make a 68-yarder," Harbaugh said.
But what about in Denver's thin air this Sunday?
"Those kicks, they're rare, because you don't try them in a normal circumstance," Harbaugh said. "It's got to be the right, perfect, storm, and you don't want to be in those situations too often. So, I don't know. It's a good question."