Ravens Rumors: Ricard, Bateman, OL

Baltimore will be without its four-time Pro Bowl fullback to start training camp, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. Head coach John Harbaugh told the media last week that Patrick Ricard underwent hip surgery this offseason, meaning he’ll start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

After five seasons of defensive line play at Maine, Ricard began his career playing on both sides of the ball for the Ravens, serving double duty as a defensive lineman and a fullback. Over the past four years, Ricard has played exclusively on the offensive side of the ball, routinely grading out as the league’s top fullback, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

With Ricard out, the Ravens will turn to former fifth-round pick Ben Mason. It’s no wonder Baltimore saw something it liked in Mason in the 2021 NFL Draft. Coming out of Michigan, Mason had just moved into a fullback/tight end role for the Wolverines after spending a season at defensive tackle as a junior. They must’ve seen a lot of Ricard in Mason, but without an immediate need for him, Mason failed to make the final 53-man roster that year.

Mason spent 2021 on the Patriots’ and Bears’ practice squads. After the season ended, Mason returned to Baltimore, spending last season on the practice squad. If Ricard is forced to miss extended time due to his hip surgery, Mason could finally get a chance to prove his worth.

Here are a few other rumors coming out of Charm City:

  • Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman has had a rocky start to his NFL career. Despite obvious displays of the talent that got him drafted in the first round two years ago, Bateman has struggled to stay on the field. Over his first two seasons, Bateman has missed 17 total games, including a playoff game this past season. Groin surgery just before his rookie season forced him to miss five games and a Lisfranc surgery ended his season early last year. He’s not quite out of the woods yet, according to Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Banner. Harbaugh told the media that Bateman had received a cortisone shot “for healing purposes.” He seemed to hope that it would help keep the injury short-term, claiming that the shot would only sideline Bateman for a couple of days. “We just decided to let him keep rehabbing and make sure he’s ready to go for training camp,” Harbaugh explained.
  • A couple weeks ago, we delved into the Ravens’ position battle at left guard. At the time, we mentioned drafted rookies Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu and Andrew Vorhees. Vorhees will likely spend most, if not all, of his rookie season recovering from recent injuries, while we noted Aumavae-Laulu was projected as a developmental pick. The assessments on Aumavae-Laulu may have been a bit off as Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic has reported that he appears to be very much in the mix for the starting left guard job. Harbaugh apparently made it very clear by featuring the sixth-round pick heavily in minicamp.
  • Former first-round wide receiver Laquon Treadwell recently got another chance to stick on a roster by signing with Baltimore. Thanks to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, we now have a few details on his new contract. According to Wilson, Treadwell will receive the league veteran minimum on a one-year, $1.17MM deal.
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