Ravens coach John Harbaugh has declined to give any injury-return timetables in recent weeks, but wide receiver Mike Wallace joked after practice Sunday that reporters and fans are in for a treat when quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receiver Breshad Perriman return to the field.
“We can’t give you any glimpses of Joe,” Perriman said to laughter. “When he comes back, you all are going to see. He has gained, like, 30 pounds of muscle. He is running, like, a 4.5 [40-yard dash] now. I’m telling you guys, it’s crazy. You have to see him. He is under wraps. He is like Weapon X.”
As for Perriman, Wallace cracked: “He put on 25 pounds of muscle, and speed, he went from a 4.1 to a 4.0. He is running a 4-flat now.”
Wallace’s comments lent some levity to the Ravens’ injury situation, which has been unrelenting. Flacco hasn’t practiced at all because of a back injury and hasn’t been on the sideline for preseason games or training camp practices. “Top secret, baby,” Wallace joked.
Perriman has been sidelined since he tweaked his hamstring Aug. 1. Without Flacco and Perriman on the field, the first-team offense, led by Ryan Mallett, has struggled in practices and games. Wallace acknowledged a “very high” sense of urgency to build some momentum in Saturday’s preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, which likely will represent the last preseason action for starters. However, he said nobody is panicking.
“We have some guys injured — different lineups, different guys in and out. It is just a progression. I think we will be fine, or I know we will be fine come Week 1,” Wallace said. “We are missing our top weapon, which is our quarterback. Once he comes back, things will all start to fall in place, guys will feel better. We have all the confidence in the world in Ryan, though. We will go out and [do] whatever we have to do. But when you have a guy like Joe just sitting, you are licking your chops just waiting for him to come back, because we know the type of energy and the type of guy he is and the talent level he is going to bring to our offense.”
Wallace thinks there is still time for Flacco to get out to practice and work out the kinks before the Sept. 10 regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Joe is a vet. He has been 10 years in the game. He has won a Super Bowl. He has been in every situation,” Wallace said. “He might need to knock a little rust off, but hopefully we can knock that out in those days of practice before Week 1. I think once we get into the game, all it will take is a couple plays, and then you feel like you are in the game. It is like, ‘OK, let’s go.’ But he is a vet. He will be fine.”