Baltimore Ravens activate WR Rashod Bateman off IR, three defensive starters off COVID list

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman will practice for the first time since Aug. 10 after being activated off injured reserve Wednesday.

Bateman, the No. 27 overall pick, had groin surgery last month after going down while running a route in training camp. He would provide another target for Lamar Jackson, who ranks 18th in the NFL with 761 yards passing.

Baltimore also activated wideout Miles Boykin (hamstring) off IR. Boykin, a third-round pick in 2019, has been sidelined since Aug. 2.

Jackson has primarily leaned on Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins this season, but Brown struggled on Sunday with three dropped passes. The Ravens' wide receivers rank 17th in the NFL with 500 yards receiving this season.

By taking Bateman and Boykin off IR, the Ravens have a 21-day window before they have to move them to the 53-man roster.

Baltimore reduced its injured reserve list to 14 players. Four of those players (tight end Nick Boyle, offensive lineman Tyre Phillips, linebacker Daelin Hayes and cornerback Chris Westry) could return at some point this season.

The Ravens are also getting closer to full strength on defense after activating three starters off the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.

Outside linebacker Justin Houston, nose tackle Brandon Williams and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike all came off the list after being designated as close contacts Friday. They return after quarantining for five days and missing Sunday's 19-17 win in Detroit.

Houston, Williams and Madubuike accounted for a combined 190 snaps in the Ravens' first two games.

Outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, a league source said. He remains the only Ravens player on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Ravens' defense ranks 24th in the league in yards allowed. Baltimore (2-1) plays the undefeated Broncos in Denver on Sunday.