Rashod Bateman's soft-tissue injury is going to require surgery.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters Bateman will undergo an operation on his groin, sidelining him until sometime in September.
Harbaugh was intentionally vague about Bateman's injury on Wednesday, calling it a "soft-tissue leg issue" that would cost the rookie "a number of weeks." With Thursday's revelation, Harbaugh is offering necessary clarity on the matter.
The news is disappointing for a receiver who was producing plenty of reason for optimism in minicamp and into training camp, but has been hampered by injury for a good portion of the summer preparation. In need of a stronger passing game, Baltimore addressed the receiver position with the selection of Bateman and signing of Sammy Watkins. Now the Ravens will have to wait until the season's first month to pair the two on the field.
Multiple weeks might now turn into a month, unless Bateman makes it back in time for Week 1 (which sounds unlikely), but the outlook could always be worse. It's not ideal to see a first-round pick headed to the sideline, but a targeted return in the month ahead is better than something more significant. As Harbaugh said, "I think that's pretty good news."
Patience will be key for Baltimore, which will spend the next few weeks sorting out its depth chart without Bateman.
As for preseason action, the Ravens don't seem keen on taking many chances. Harbaugh declined to reveal whether Lamar Jackson will play in Saturday's preseason opener against New Orleans.
With multiple starting offensive linemen missing Thursday's practice and left tackle Ronnie Stanley returning this week from the physically unable to perform list, it might not be worth the risk to play Jackson, who just made his way back to the practice field following his second bout with COVID-19.