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Ravens News 10/27: Bateman Flashing and more

Los Angeles Chargers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Rashod Bateman Flashing Versatility for Ravens - Todd Karpovich

Over two games, Bateman has seven receptions for 109 yards.

“It definitely feels good to be back on the field – back healthy,” Bateman said. “[I’m] being able to play comfortable; shout out to the coaches and my players for helping me out [and] leading me through the week as it goes. It’s definitely fun to be back out there playing with the team.”

“Some guys are a fish out of water outside when they come in, or inside when they go out. Rashod [Bateman], just like Sammy [Watkins] and those guys, they just have a good feel regardless of where you put them on the field, and that just helps us,” wide receivers coach Tee Martin said. ”We have four receivers, actually, that can play all three positions. No. 1, that’s very rare to have. I’m thankful it’s for us and we can move guys around. Because really, if you couldn’t do that, it would have been really hard for us to get to this point with the injuries that we’ve had.

“But it’s a credit to him. Us seeing it on tape from him in college during the draft process and him being able to adjust to the NFL [and] the speed of the game. This team was blitzing and doing all kind of stuff, and he did a really good job of reading blitzes and making himself available for catches. As a rookie, that was really good to see.”

Derek Wolfe Returns to Ravens Practice - Clifton Brown

The Ravens designated Wolfe for return from injured reserve, allowing him to take the field for Tuesday’s bye week practice. Baltimore will have a 21-day window to activate Wolfe from injured reserve to the 53-man roster.

Wolfe’s presence would be a boost to the run defense. He was an anchor on the defensive line last season, especially during periods when Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams were out of the lineup. In his first season with Baltimore in 2020, Wolfe played in 14 games and had 51 tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens’ run defense has been “inconsistent” this season, dominant at times and surrendering long runs at others, including the two long touchdown runs to the Bengals late in Sunday’s loss.

In his 10th NFL season, the 31-year-old Wolfe signed a three-year contract in March.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: 1-32 poll, plus one thing we got wrong about every team - Jamison Hensley

8. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

Previous ranking: 6

Prediction we missed: The defense would rank No. 1 in the NFL.

The Ravens rank No. 24 in defense and are on pace to allow the most yards in franchise history. The loss of Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters (season-ending knee injury), the regression of middle linebacker Patrick Queen and the awful tackling has taken a toll on this prideful unit. Even cornerback Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens’ top defensive player, has struggled. Baltimore became the third team in NFL history to allow three 400-yard passers in its first seven games. The Ravens are looking to regroup during their bye. “We’ve just really got to look at ourselves,” linebacker Tyus Bowser said. “If we focus on communicating and going out and executing, we’ll play football like we know we can.”

Revisiting the 2020 NFL trade deadline: A year later, who won the Carlos Dunlap deal and other moves? - Lindsay Jones

The trade: Edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue from Vikings to Ravens

Minnesota’s return: 2021 third-round and 2022 fifth-round pick.

Sheil’s grades: Ravens: A | Vikings: C

Immediate reaction: The Ravens had pursued a trade for Ngakoue earlier in 2020, but the Jaguars sent him to Minnesota instead. So when the Vikings moved into sell mode at 1-5, the Ravens pounced. Kapadia wrote that adding Ngakoue would give the Ravens more options in their front seven, and perhaps allow for Baltimore to be less dependent on the blitz to create pressure. As for the Vikings, Kapadia saw this as a long-term move and a team willing to cut ties with a player they didn’t plan to re-sign.

A year later: The Ngakoue experiment didn’t work out for the Ravens. He had just three sacks in nine games and never seemed to find a consistent rhythm as part of Baltimore’s defensive line rotation. Ngakoue signed with the Raiders (two years, $26 million) in the offseason.

Who won the trade: It’s still hard to argue with the Ravens’ thinking here, but Ngakoue’s lack of production and quick departure makes this a rare miss for Baltimore. That’s not to say the Vikings necessarily won, either: The player they drafted with the Ravens’ third-round pick, defensive lineman Patrick Jones II, has yet to play in a game.

2021 NFL trade deadline: Allen Robinson, Nick Foles among big names in 10 deals that should happen this season - Cody Benjamin

Ravens acquire Bears WR Allen Robinson

Potential cost: 2022 second-round pick, 2023 fifth-round pick

Baltimore has a title run in its sights. And while Lamar Jackson is faring just fine with his current crop of wideouts, the Ravens were sniffing around for veteran pass catchers this offseason, and A-Rob would be a nice complement to the speedy Marquise Brown. The Bears ideally wouldn’t be selling their young quarterback’s best weapon, but they’ve repeatedly failed to extend the 28-year-old Robinson, who will be looking to cash in as a 2022 free agent.