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Late for Work 11/4: Ravens Encouraged to Sign Odell Beckham Jr. With Rashod Bateman Out

WR Rashod Bateman
WR Rashod Bateman

Dan Orlovsky: Hard to See Ravens As Super Bowl Contenders Without Rashod Bateman

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, who picked the Ravens to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl before the start of the season, no longer believes they are even in the Super Bowl conversation in light of them losing wide receiver Rashod Bateman to season-ending foot surgery.

"If this is season-ending and into-the-postseason-ending, it's hard to see this offense and this football team as Super Bowl contenders. They were with Bateman; it's hard to see them without," Orlovksy said.

"He averages 19 yards per reception. That's second in the league behind Gabe Davis. Think of what Gabe Davis' impact is for Buffalo's offense. This is an offense that two weeks ago I said everything is about [Devin] Duvernay and Bateman. … This is a massive, massive impact for Baltimore offensively."

"Lamar Jackson will be without his No. 1 wide receiver for the rest of the season, putting a major question mark over an already struggling Baltimore Ravens passing attack,” ESPN’s Jamison Hensley wrote.

There's no question that losing Bateman and his big-play ability is a significant blow, but how it affects the Ravens' championship aspirations remains to be seen.

As Head Coach John Harbaugh said yesterday, there is now an opportunity for the team's other wide receivers to step up. The four wide receivers on the active roster are Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson, James Proche II and Tylan Wallace, and veteran DeSean Jackson is expected to be called up from the practice squad for Monday night's game in New Orleans.

"Only Robinson (1,819) has produced more than 800 yards receiving in his NFL career," Hensley pointed out. "The Ravens' passing attack ranks 26th in the league, averaging 193.8 yards per game. Over his past four games, Jackson has thrown five touchdown passes and has been intercepted four times."

Ravens Encouraged to Pursue Odell Beckham Jr.

Even before the disappointing news about Bateman, there was much talk about the Ravens needing to add a wide receiver. Now that the trade deadline has passed, speculation about the Ravens pursuing free agent Odell Beckham Jr. has ramped up.

"Here's what I would do if I was Ravens GM Eric DeCosta. I would pick up my phone and say, 'Hi, OBJ? We'll give you whatever you want to come join this football team,'" ESPN's Mina Kimes said.

That makes for an entertaining sound bite, but obviously signing Beckham is easier said than done for the Ravens. Beckham, who is recovering from a torn ACL, is reportedly expected to return to the field in mid-November, but competition for him will likely be fierce and the Ravens don't have much cap space.

Another wide receiver who could be available is Brandin Cooks. The disgruntled Houston Texans wide receiver reportedly was on the trade block but no team was willing to meet the team's asking price.

If Cooks decided to void his $18 million guarantee to facilitate his release, he'd be subject to waivers and would likely be claimed before the Ravens' turn.

The Athletic Hands Out Midseason AFC North Awards to Lamar Jackson, Tyler Linderbaum, Kyle Hamilton

The Athletic's AFC North writers each issued their midseason awards for the division. Here are some excerpts regarding the Ravens:

MVP: Lamar Jackson

Jay Morrison: "Jackson is an easy pick for MVP. He's the best player at the most important position on the best team."

Rookie of the Year: Tyler Linderbaum

Jeff Zrebiec: "As for rookie of the year, I'm going to say Ravens first-round center Tyler Linderbaum. He's been really good, giving up only one sack and blocking for the league's second-ranked run game."

Zac Jackson: "The most exciting rookie in the division has been [Steelers wide receiver George] Pickens, but the best rookie is probably Linderbaum."

Mark Kaboly: "Rookie of the year is really tough, but what I've seen of Linderbaum makes him my choice."

Rookie of the Year: Kyle Hamilton

Morrison: "I'm gonna give a slight edge to Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton over Pickens, mainly because Hamilton seems to be getting better each week."

Meanwhile, CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr graded each team at the midway point of the season. The Ravens received a B.

"The Ravens are a very good football team that has three losses — all after blowing double-digit leads," Kerr wrote. "Lamar Jackson hasn't played well over the last four weeks, yet the Ravens are 3-1 during that stretch. Take away the two weeks against the Dolphins and Patriots, and the Ravens are allowing just 320 yards per game — that's a top-10 defense (that just added Roquan Smith).

"Jackson will get going again and the Ravens will eventually get J.K. Dobbins back for the stretch run. They still need an upgrade at wide receiver, but maybe DeSean Jackson will be that player who can make the offense more explosive."

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