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News & Notes: Offense Will Adjust If Rashod Bateman Does Not Play vs. Bengals

WR Devin Duvernay against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2, 2022.

Top wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) missed practice Thursday for the second straight day and may not be available Sunday night against the Bengals.

If Bateman misses his first game this season, the Ravens would be forced to adjust offensively. Bateman leads Baltimore's wideouts in receiving yards (243) and is just 17 yards behind tight end Mark Andrews (260) for the team lead.

Bateman's absence would push Devin Duvernay into the role of No. 1 receiver, but he has already looked the part. Duvernay has one more catch (12) than Bateman (11) and is tied with Andrews for the team lead in touchdown catches with three.

The coaching staff has every confidence Duvernay and others will step up with Bateman can't go.

"Bate is really valuable to us," Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said. "He's really coming along as a receiver, so if he's not out there, he's definitely going to be missed, but the flip side of that is we have some other guys who can step in there and make plays for us as well.

"I like what I'm seeing out at practice this week, so we just have to keep working through it. We have a multitude of tight ends, our receivers are doing a great job, when you look at their production based on what we're asking of them, they're extremely productive. I feel really good about it. Some other guys will step up." 

Duvernay has opened eyes as a receiver this season, capitalizing on an opportunity for more targets and playing time. His chemistry with Lamar Jackson has never been better. The business-like approach that Duvernay takes to his job won't change Sunday, even though he'll be on a national stage.

"I'm prepared; I've been waiting for it," Duvernay said. "I prepare like it, and I'm always ready for my number to be called and for my opportunity."

J.K. Dobbins Looks Elusive to Greg Roman

J.K. Dobbins returned to practice Thursday after a day off and seems to be settling into a comfort zone after missing last season with a knee injury. After rushing for 23 yards on seven carries in Week 3 against the Patriots, Dobbins flashed more quickness against the Bill with 41 yards on 13 carries.

Roman sees Dobbins' ability to make people miss and break tackles returning to his game.

"If there's a hole and I watch our back run through it, sometimes I'll sit up there in the staff room and say, 'Well, I could have run through that hole,' Roman said. "It's what do they do when they're confronted with a defender – can they make a guy miss, can they run them over, can they juke them, hit and spin? Whatever that is, their mechanism to gain extra yards, that's what we're looking for. I think he's really coming along day by day in that regard, and he'll just get stronger as the year goes on."

Dobbins' ability to carry a larger workload could be put to the test. Fellow running back Justice Hill (hamstring) missed his second straight practice Thursday and may not play Sunday. In back to back weeks, Hill put together strong efforts against the Patriots (six carries, 60 yards) and Bills (eight carries, 45 yards). Hill leads all Ravens running backs with 6.6 yards per carry while Dobbins is at 3.2, Kenyan Drake is 2.3 and Mike Davis is 2.1.

"He was really playing at a high level, but we really feel great about the backs we have, the blockers we have, the schemes, etc.," Roman said.

Ravens Run Game Continues to Expand With Jackson Under Center

Instead of operating strictly out of the pistol or shotgun, Jackson has been under center more often this season, as Baltimore's playbook continues to expand, adding more screen passes and draw plays to the mix this year.

Roman wouldn't elaborate on why the Ravens called more draw plays against Buffalo, but he has more unused plays in his vault.

"As far as the draws, we have every run known to man," Roman said. "Studying each defense, we'll run different runs against different teams, and if something is popping, we'll probably come back to it. Whereas earlier in my career, I would probably not do that as much; now more so, I will."

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