For the second time in as many seasons, injuries have decimated the Baltimore Ravens offense. Rashod Bateman is done for the year, J.K. Dobbins is out for at least a few more weeks, and superstar tight end Mark Andrews is battling knee and shoulder injuries. With the trade deadline over, the Ravens will need to look to the only good free agent on the market if they want help: Odell Beckham.
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After trading away Marquise Brown during the NFL Draft, the Ravens entered the season with poor depth at their pass-catching position. Mark Andrews is fantastic and Bateman showed plenty of promise as a rookie, but he was far from a proven commodity. Outside of those two, Baltimore had no real pass-catching talent to speak of.
Since Week 1, Andrews has remained his reliable self, while Bateman has been something of a mixed bag. The second-year pro has played in six games and has eclipsed the 60-yard mark on one occasion. Still, he was clearly a key part of the passing attack when on the field, and the Ravens are going to miss him.
With Bateman sidelined, Baltimore’s new top receiver is Devin Duvernay. Duvernay has performed remarkably well this year, hauling in 24 receptions for 313 yards and three touchdowns in his eight games. He definitely proved he deserves to be a part of this offense, but he shouldn’t be the top option.
Devin Duvernay is making the end zone his second home this season 🏠 pic.twitter.com/KFMH4V90vV
— PFF BAL Ravens (@PFF_Ravens) October 28, 2022
Likewise, if Andrews misses time, the Ravens still have rookie tight end Isaiah Likely. Likely was the preseason MVP for the Ravens and played well last week, but you don’t want to put too much faith in a rookie tight end. The rookie adjustment is hard for every single player, but tight ends have the hardest non-quarterback adjustment to the professional level. He may be capable of being the second or third option in the passing game, but he shouldn’t be the first read.
Odell Beckham the Only Option Left
Even if Mark Andrews is only sidelined for one or two games, the Ravens need to bring in somebody to replace Bateman. Right now, their lone option is Odell Beckham. Beckham tore his ACL during Super Bowl LVI, and recent reports indicate that he won’t be on the field until Thanksgiving. That being said, the Ravens are in the thick of the playoff race and could use him down the stretch.
After two and a half seasons of disappointing production with the Browns, Beckham joined the Rams for the back half of 2021 and proved that he is still an above-average wide receiver. Stepping in for an injured Robert Woods, Beckham played a crucial role in the Rams postseason run, recording 21 receptions for 288 yards and two touchdowns during LA’s four-game Super Bowl journey.
🎥 Relive @obj's top moments during our Super Bowl-winning season. pic.twitter.com/jAtre6UWdE
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 7, 2022
Nobody is saying that the present-day version of Odell Beckham is as good as the 2014-2017 version. Chances are, we’ve already seen Beckham’s best football. That being said, the 2021 version of Odell Beckham still had plenty left in his tank, and the Ravens need playmakers in the worst way. Baltimore should act quickly, as Odell Beckham should have plenty of suitors.