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Rashod Bateman, J.K. Dobbins at Full Speed for Week 1

From left: WR Rashod Bateman, RB J.K. Dobbins
From left: WR Rashod Bateman, RB J.K. Dobbins

Rashod Bateman has worked very hard to be ready for Week 1 and it has paid off.

"He looks full speed and ready to go," Head Coach John Harbaugh said following Friday's practice.

After Lisfranc surgery ended Bateman's 2022 season in October, the third-year wide receiver faced months of rehab and pain management. Bateman had a cortisone shot in June that forced him to miss mandatory minicamp, but he returned during training camp and has been able to stack practice days leading up to Sunday's game.

"I'm excited. I'm in a good place, the team is in a good spot," Bateman said this week. "It's been a long time coming. It's been a tough road. But we're back to square one, we're healthy, and I feel really good. My teammates have been up for me, the staff has been up for me. I think I'm in for a good year. We'll see."

Harbaugh praised Bateman for his resiliency and hopes he will stay healthy after two seasons plagued by injuries.

"It means so much to him," Harbaugh said. "He was very frustrated with the fact the thing kept lingering, not able to put it behind him. I think he kind of put his foot down, and kind of made a determination that he was going to beat it. He did a great job. I'm kind of proud of him. I'm excited about him, I want to see how he does."

J.K. Dobbins Will Not Be on Pitch Count

Despite J.K. Dobbins' late start to training camp, Harbaugh said the fourth-year running back was ready to handle a full workload in Sunday's opener. Dobbins was activated off the PUP list on Aug. 14 and reported to training camp in excellent shape. Harbaugh said Dobbins had enough practice reps to be fully ready for Sunday, despite not playing during the preseason.

"We're going to play the game strategically the way we play it," Harbaugh said. "We don't have any concern about how many snaps J.K. has had to this point. He's had enough. He's ready to go."

Ravens Will Go Week-to-Week With Backup Quarterback

When asked if Tyler Huntley and Josh Johnson were still competing to be Lamar Jackson's backup, Harbaugh said he had confidence in both backup quarterbacks.

"We'll go week to week based on the circumstances right now of where we're at, what are needs are that particular week," Harbaugh said. "We'll just figure it out as we go. We're just very blessed to have three really good quarterbacks and have two guys who are very capable of doing the job."

Johnson fulfilled a goal by being part of the Ravens' 53-man roster heading into Week 1. The 37-year-old Johnson has been with 17 14 NFL teams and thought about retiring several times along the way. However, Johnson is glad he kept battling. After starting the final two preseason games and playing well, Johnson was signed to the 53-man roster on Aug. 31 after being part of the original final roster cuts.

"To be able to make the team, for me that was a big win," Johnson said. "I haven't been on a Week 1 roster since 2018. To be able to set goals for yourself and accomplish them is something to be grateful for. [extra space]I'm 37, still running around with 23-year-olds."

Johnson said he focuses on staying ready, not worrying about his place on the depth chart.

"It's up to the coaches to decide who they want out there," Johnson said. "We all know who the starter for this team is. For me and Snoop, our job is to be ready no matter what. Anything can happen on Sundays. If I'm focused on what my roster position is, I'm not focused on how I can be ready. That's what this organization expects, that's what all the guys in this locker room expect."

Harbaugh Begins His 16th Season as Head Coach As DeMeco Ryans Begins His First

When Harbaugh started his first season as the Ravens' head coach in 2008, DeMeco Ryans was a starting linebacker with the Houston Texans. Now Ryans is the Texans' head coach, and the two-time Pro Bowler will make his debut as a head coach after spending the previous two years as the 49ers' defensive coordinator.

Harbaugh said he still vividly remembers his first game as a head coach, a 17-10 victory over the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.

"I remember for the first time you go out there … You've been in a few preseason games. You have a sense of it, and I think you find out pretty quickly that it's all fine," Harbaugh said. "You start to learn what you need to concern yourself with, think about, where you need to be. Every game's different, really, to be honest. You just learn how to deal with that role, which is a little bit of a new role when you're a first-time [head] coach."

Harbaugh will be trying to beat the Texans, but believes they have hired a quality coach in Ryans.

"DeMeco Ryans has obviously done it all in this league," Harbaugh said. "He's a great player. He's a great defensive coordinator. Now, he gets his opportunity as head coach. I have no doubt that he'll do very well. I think he has all the attributes, and everything you see is very impressive. He has a very good staff. It's going to be a big challenge for us, but we're trying to focus on us and what we do – how we play. That'll be our focus."

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