OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Wide receiver DeSean Jackson will play a 15th season in the NFL after being signed to the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad on Tuesday, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The expectation is for the 35-year-old Jackson to get elevated on game day and boost the Ravens’ deep-passing game. Last season, Jackson showed he still has speed, averaging 22.7 yards per catch, which is the highest of his 14-year career.
Stretching the field has been a challenge for quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has completed just 21% of his passes that have traveled at least 20 air yards. That’s the second worst in the NFL behind New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (14%).
The Ravens have one of the most unproven wide receiver groups in the NFL. Baltimore has only two wide receivers with double-digit receptions: Devin Duvernay (18) and Rashod Bateman (11).
With Bateman sidelined a second straight game because of a sprained left foot, the Ravens’ wide receivers totaled five catches for 45 yards in Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Giants. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that Bateman was “close” to returning.
Jackson, who worked out for the Ravens on Tuesday, becomes the latest 30-or-older wide receiver to be signed by Baltimore over the past six years. He joins Mike Wallace, Michael Crabtree and Dez Bryant.
One of the bigger concerns with Jackson is durability. He played 16 games last season with the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders, but he missed 28 games from 2018 to 2020 because of thumb, ankle and abdominal strain injuries.
Jackson ranks 36th on the NFL’s all-time receiving list with 11,110 yards. He has totaled 632 receptions (18.3-yard average) and has caught 58 touchdown passes.