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Isaiah Likely Set For A Big Role In Ravens Offense

More Gametime for Likely Incoming: With Andrews injured, Likely stepped up. The rookie managed six receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Isaiah Likely

The Baltimore Ravens secured a solid 27-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8. The win moved the Ravens to 5-3, leading the AFC North, while condemning the Buccaneers to a concerning 3-5 record.

Perhaps the outcome was expected though, given how the Buccaneers were down four key starters in the secondary. It meant that the Ravens receiving game was primed for a good matchup against Jamel Dean and Zyon McCollum, a fifth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

If only it was that simple. Baltimore lost both Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman during the game. Both players entered the game listed as questionable, and both were forced to leave the game.

In the absence of Andrews and Bateman, both crucial cogs to the offense, the other receivers stepped up. On the game, Lamar Jackson threw the ball 38 times. Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson, and James Proche all got involved but it was Isaiah Likely who showed his upside.

Likely managed six receptions (on seven targets) for 77 yards and a touchdown. His seven targets were second only to Robinson (eight) but his receiving yard total was a team high. With Andrews banged up, the Coastal Carolina product stepped up in a big way. His route-running was clean, and his game awareness seemed excellent. He did an excellent job of staying open when Jackson was improvising, showing how good their chemistry is. The status of Andrews’ injury is unclear but, regardless, more game time for Isaiah Likely is incoming.

MORE RAVENS: Lamar Jackson Unhappy With Baltimore

Isaiah Likely Earning More Opportunities In Baltimore

Likely entered the regular season with a lot of hype. A fourth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Ravens were high on Likely due to his athleticism and unique playmaking ability at the position.

After joining the team, Likely flashed his impressive skills as a receiver. He impressed coaches early in the off-season, putting it all together in a 100-yard pre-season performance against the Arizona Cardinals.

Baltimore’s draft haul was considered one of the strongest in the league. Many believed that every rookie had the potential to meaningfully contribute in 2022, but Likely was the most hyped of the bunch. It was even expected that Likely would be the Ravens’ ‘third receiver’, behind Andrews and Bateman.

Over the first few weeks of the season, Likely’s performances fell short of the hype by a long shot. In Week 1 against the New York Jets, the rookie failed to catch any of his four targets. His best week before Week 8 was Week 2, when he caught four balls for 43 yards against the Miami Dolphins. After that, he failed to register more than two catches per game. He showed flashes against the New York Giants in Week 6, logging four targets and catching two passes for 30 yards. Week 8 saw a change of fortune for the rookie, however.

It is widely considered that the Ravens have one of the deepest tight end rooms in the league. Andrews undoubtedly headlines it but Likely proves to be a capable backup as a receiving tight end. Nick Boyle, Josh Oliver and Charlie Kolar make up the rest of the group.

After a strong performance and with Andrews potentially limited, more gametime for Likely is incoming. It is deserved, too.


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