Rashod Bateman took another step in his recovery from foot surgery, joining the Ravens on the field Monday for the first practice of OTAs.
While Bateman will likely be eased back into action this summer, it's a good sign for an integral part of the Ravens' offense in 2023. Linebacker Patrick Queen, safety Marcus Williams and offensive tackle Morgan Moses also practiced Monday.
Bateman has made steady progress since Lisfranc foot surgery in November that ended his 2022 season after six games. On April 19, the third-year wide receiver posted a video of himself running on Instagram. He has also participated in offseason workouts with new Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Having Bateman at OTAs gives him a head start on becoming familiar with new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's system. Bateman averaged 19.0 yards per catch last season (15 catches, 285 yards, two touchdowns) prior to his injury, including a 75-yard touchdown reception against the Dolphins when he took a short toss from Lamar Jackson and turned on the afterburners to outrun Miami's secondary in Week 2.
A first-round draft pick in 2021, Bateman missed the first five games of his rookie season following core muscle surgery, but has flashed his big-time potential when healthy. He posted 46 catches for 515 yards and one touchdown as a rookie.
Now Bateman has more talent around him with the additions of Beckham and Nelson Agholor, and first-round selection of Zay Flowers. The Ravens hope this will be Bateman's best season.
"He's going to be ready to roll stronger than ever, healthier than ever," Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL Owner's Meetings. "Rashod's going to have a great season. I'm a big believer in Rashod Bateman."