Rashod Bateman, a first-round draft pick from a year ago, will undergo Lysfranc surgery on his left foot and miss the remaining nine games of the regular season, coach John Harbaugh announced Wednesday. Bateman aggravated his foot injury in a 27-22 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 27 and did not play the entire second half.
Known for his big-play ability, Bateman ranked second in the NFL with an average of 19 yards per catch this season.
"It's one of those where it was up to him," Harbaugh said. "He and his agent and his family talked it over and they decided it'd be in his best interest to do that. We support him and understand what he's doing."
As part of an Instagram post, Bateman called the injury "the darkest times of them all," while adding he "can't question Gods plan and what he has for me."
The loss of Bateman is a significant blow for the first-place Ravens (5-3), whose wide receiver group has been one of the youngest and most unproven in the league. Baltimore's wide receivers have totaled 790 yards receiving this year, which is the third fewest in the NFL.
Without Bateman, Jackson's four receivers on the active roster are Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson, Tylan Wallace and James Proche II. Only Robinson (1,819) has produced more than 800 yards receiving in his NFL career.
"It's a huge loss," left tackle Ronnie Stanley said. "He's a dynamic wide receiver. We're going to miss him -- a competitor like that who plays at a high level and threatens the defense. But, at the same time, he knows and we all know that we can't sulk and we have to move forward."
The Ravens' passing attack ranks 26th in the league, averaging 193.8 yards per game. Over his past four games, Jackson has thrown five touchdown passes and has been intercepted four times.
Bateman accounted for three of Baltimore's five completions over 30 yards. The top free agent wide receiver available is Odell Beckham Jr., who is reportedly looking at a mid-November return after tearing an ACL in Super Bowl LVI.
"We got a lot of great guys in our receiving group," Jackson said. "I got full 100% confidence in those guys. They'll make something for us this season."
Harbaugh said it's a "good possibility" that 15th-year wide receiver DeSean Jackson will get promoted off the practice squad for Monday night's game at New Orleans. Jackson was signed by the Ravens on Oct. 19.
"I personally think he's probably ready," Harbaugh said.
Jackson has been one of the best deep threats in NFL history. Since joining the NFL in 2008, Jackson has averaged 17.6 yards per reception, which is the highest by any player with at least 100 catches over that span.
"I've been in this league a long time and I've had a lot of success," DeSean Jackson said. "If it's my time, I'll do what I need to do to help this team win games. That's all that matters."
For Bateman, this is another setback early in his career. He missed the first five games of his rookie season after having groin surgery and then was sidelined for two games for a left foot injury this year. Bateman returned for the Oct. 23 game against Cleveland before injuring the foot again the next game.
By the end of the season, the 27th overall pick of the 2021 draft will have missed 16 of 34 games.
"Rashod really wants to be out there and want to have a career," Harbaugh said. "That's not going to change. Things happen in life. There are roadblocks. Sometimes, the best way is just to go through it. Before the story is written, he's going to have his day in the sun."