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Ravens News 8/17: Rising Stock and more

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NFL: NOV 15 Ravens at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Practice Report: Kevin Zeitler, Ronnie Stanley Ramp Up Action - Clifton Brown

The Ravens’ offensive line got a boost Monday before the first rep ever took place. Veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler, who had not practiced since Aug. 3 due to a foot injury, was back on the field.

Zeitler was joined by All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who had his most extended practice since returning from season-ending ankle surgery.

Second-year defensive tackle Broderick Washington got nice pressure up the middle on several reps, and he’s one of many second-year players taking a step forward. There has been plenty of talk about how good Justin Madubuike looks, but Washington is another young defensive tackle who’s harnessing his potential.

The battle for the No. 3 tight end spot behind Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle continues to look close. Josh Oliver and Tony Poljan both had touchdown catches during practice.

Ravens Training Camp Day 20: Ben Cleveland, Trace McSorley Out - Todd Karpovich

The Ravens began preparations for a joint practice with the Carolina Panthers later this week.

Baltimore is dealing with a couple of added injuries.

Offensive lineman Ben Cleveland is dealing with a concussion, according to coach John Harbaugh. Backup quarterback Trace McSorley has a back issue and will be out for a few weeks.

Three injured wide receivers — Marquise Brown (hamstring), Miles Boykin (hamstring) and Deon Cain (undisclosed) — ran on the side field during practice. There is no timetable for their return.

Ravens On The Roster Bubble: Stock Rising, Stock Falling - Bo Smolka

STOCK RISING

S GENO STONE

Stone was the Ravens’ seventh-round draft pick last year, but by late season he had been cut twice and ended the year with the Houston Texans. He told his agent that he wanted to come back to Baltimore and re-signed with the Ravens in March, but given the Ravens’ deep secondary, a spot on the 53-man roster is far from secure.

Stone helped his case with a strong game against the Saints, recording three tackles, three passes defensed and a pair of interceptions, his first multi-interception game since high school. To be sure, Stone had help on both interceptions. On the first, Saints quarterback Taysom Hill rushed a throw with a blitzling Brandon Stephens bearing down on him, and on the second, Stone grabbed a pass initially tipped by cornerback Chris Westry. But to his credit, he was around the ball and made the play when it was there to be made.

Perhaps most notable, Stone was on the starting kickoff coverage unit, a good sign for players on the roster bubble. The final roster spots are won on special teams.

Ravens risers and fallers: Roster decisions are starting to come into focus - Jeff Zrebiec

Who is rising?

Malik Harrison, ILB: Patrick Queen’s back-to-back splash plays got much of the attention, but it’s fair to say that his role is already solidified. Harrison, meanwhile, has really picked up the pace since the pads came on in camp and it seems that he’s taken a pretty good hold of the starting weakside linebacker job. Harrison had four tackles against the Saints, got downhill and played with physicality. The Ravens are excited about the progress he’s making in his second training camp.

Who is falling?

Tylan Wallace, WR: With several of the top receivers still sidelined, last week was a major opportunity for the rookie fourth-round pick to break out. However, he had another relatively quiet week of practice and then he was held without a catch in his preseason debut. He also muffed a punt, which he’s done in practice, too. Wallace nearly made a heck of a catch on a Huntley pass on the sideline, but couldn’t get two feet in. You can’t fault him for that. However, he really needs to make a few big plays, whether it’s in practice or the preseason, to start gaining some momentum. Wallace’s roster spot is secure. He’s playing to prove that he should be active on game days and he has work to do in that regard.

Which rookie wide receiver means the most to their offense? - Ben Linsey

RASHOD BATEMAN, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Bateman’s importance to the offense is already being put to the test. Baltimore’s first-round selection underwent surgery to address a groin injury suffered in training camp and is expected to return at some point in September, per Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

Bateman brings a translatable NFL skill set to the Ravens — one of the best release packages in the draft class, polished ability as a route runner and a proven track record of success both in the slot and outside at Minnesota. He is one of six wide receivers in the FBS to average at least 2.5 receiving yards per route run in both the slot and out wide on at least 100 routes.

Baltimore wide receivers collectively earned a 68.6 PFF grade across the past two seasons with Lamar Jackson as a full-time starter — 30th in the NFL, ahead of the Las Vegas Raiders (67.9) and Philadelphia Eagles (62.3).

Jackson’s individual brilliance was enough to overcome an overall lack of pass-catching talent in 2019, but it caught up to him in 2020 (19th in EPA per pass play). Baltimore clearly recognized the deficiency and attacked it this offseason. Now, they’ll have to hope Bateman is ready to go when they open the season on Monday Night Football in Las Vegas.