Ravens' Rashod Bateman to debut Sunday vs. Chargers
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens' Rashod Bateman to debut, replace hurt Sammy Watkins vs. Chargers

Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice Friday after he missed Thursday's session due to an illness said to be unrelated to COVID-19 and is on track to start against the 4-1 Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. 

The Ravens have offered additional news on the injury front ahead of Sunday's contest. 

Per Jamison Hensley of ESPN, Baltimore wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been ruled out of Sunday's game because of a hamstring issue he picked up in this past Monday's 31-25 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts that propelled the Ravens to 4-1 on the season. 

On a positive note for the Ravens, rookie receiver and first-round draft pick Rashod Bateman is expected to make his official NFL debut. Bateman has been dealing with a torn right groin since August. 

"I don't think we're going to throw him into the fire for every play; I think we're going to build him into the plan on a week-to-week basis," Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said of the first-year pro. "Rashod is going to have a long and fruitful career, and this is just the first step."

Meanwhile, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was unable to offer a definitive timetable for when the often-injured Watkins may return to the lineup. According to ESPN stats, Watkins is third on the team with 18 receptions for 292 yards. 

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