J.K. Dobbins, Rashod Bateman both in good spot with Ravens

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Speaking to reporters for the first time this year, Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins and wide receiver Rashod Bateman each said Wednesday that they're past their offseason issues with the team and are focused on making an impact in the new-look offense.

Dobbins, who ranks second among all NFL running backs with a 5.9-yard rushing average over the past three seasons, missed the team's mandatory minicamp in June and then didn't participate in the first 14 practices of training camp. Asked about his absence, Dobbins paused for a few seconds and swayed side to side before saying, "That's a tough question."

"I was just being cautious," he said. "I want to be there for my teammates, and that's all it was. My teammates understood what was going on. So, it's all good now I'm out here."

Dobbins was on the physically unable to perform list for the first couple weeks of camp, but Ravens officials have never specified his injury. At the start of training camp last month, coach John Harbaugh said Dobbins' absence had "some complexity to it."

This offseason, Dobbins expressed frustration about his contract situation to WJZ-TV. Dobbins, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, is making $1.391 million this season, slightly more than his backups, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, both of whom will earn $1 million.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is "the best GM in the game, so he'll get it worked out," Dobbins said. "So hopefully I'm playing for the Ravens for the rest of my football career."

Bateman, a first-round pick by the Ravens in 2021, called out DeCosta in early March for his comments about the team's disappointing track record for drafting pass-catchers. "How bout you play to your player's strength and & stop pointing the finger at us," Bateman tweeted five months ago.

On Wednesday, Bateman said there are no lingering problems from that since-deleted social media post.

"He said his peace. I said mine, we had a conversation and now we're best friends," Bateman said. "So, it's kind of how things work around here."

Dobbins and Bateman both indicated positive progress from injuries. Dobbins said he's now 100% after a devastating left knee injury two years ago, and Bateman estimated he's "99%" back from a left foot injury that sidelined him for the final nine games last season.

"I do think that healthy, I can be one of the top backs in the league," Dobbins said. "That flashes sometimes, but I just got to prove it and I am going to prove it one day. One day it will happen."

In the first season under offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Dobbins will be Baltimore's starting running back and Bateman will be in the mix at wide receiver with Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie first-round pick Zay Flowers.

After an offseason practice this spring, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson referred to Bateman as "WR1, for sure."

"My teammates still believe in me," said Bateman, who is entering his third season. "They know my capabilities, they know what I can do. I've done it before. I do it in practice. It just sucks that the injuries have been in the way for me to prove it to you all and everybody else. Hopefully, the third time is the charm in Charm City."