The Baltimore Ravens are trying to keep things moving forward now that they have finally managed to stack a couple of wins together and seized sole possession of first place in the AFC North. The news of the loss of second-year wide receiver Rashod Bateman for the remainder of the season does them no services, but they are hoping to call upon a longtime veteran for a bit of a spark.
That would be DeSean Jackson, one of the game’s all-time great deep threats, who has yet to play a snap in the 2022 season, having gone unsigned until Baltimore signed him to their practice squad weeks ago.
Asked if he believed Jackson would be ready to go for their next game, head coach John Harbaugh told reporters yesterday that it’s “a good possibility” he plays, via the team’s website. “We’re going to keep seeing how he’s doing, but I personally think he’s probably ready. If he’s ready two days from now, then he’ll be out there”.
For his part, he left no ream for doubt. “If I get the call, for sure I’ll be ready”, he told reporters, adding that the decision isn’t up to him whether or not he plays, as he continues to work on his football conditioning in the meantime.
“I’ve been doing this a long time If I wasn’t [ready], I wouldn’t be here”, he added. I enjoyed my time back home this offseason and training camp. Decided to jump back into it. Anytime I’m into something I put my all into it. I’m here. My all is into it. I’m ready”.
Signed on October 18, he has had the opportunity to get a couple weeks’ worth of practices in. While he may not have been training in a dedicated fashion in the meantime, he has no concerns about being able to showcase his primary asset which, even at the age of 35, remains his speed. Even if it doesn’t always look that way.
“He doesn’t really show his speed; he’s just floating, and it looks so smooth”, quarterback Lamar Jackson said of watching him run in practice. “Any time I just throw him the ball, it just falls into his hands, if anything. He’s still the same DeSean to me – from what I grew up seeing. We’re just going to have to see when he gets on that field”
It seems unlikely from an outsider’s perspective that he doesn’t get the call this week. It’s not as though they have an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver. Right now their number one target at the position is Devin Duvernay. They also have James Proche, Tylan Wallace, and veteran Demarcus Robinson.
Of course, that ignores the all-important tight end position in their offense, which includes All-Pro Mark Andrews. Rookie Isaiah Likely has been increasingly finding a role in the passing game as well, and the tight end position has long been favored as a passing target since Jackson entered the league. But I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a true deep threat to add to the mix, especially after losing his good friend, Marquise Brown, via trade this offseason.