Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman’s name was on the roster at Lardarius Webb’s charity softball game Sunday, but Perriman was nowhere to be found. The 2015 first-round pick’s injury issues reemerged last week when he suffered another knee injury during the team’s final organized team activity.
Perriman injured his right knee last summer during the first week of training camp, and the Ravens initially labeled him day-to-day. But Perriman never played a down in his rookie season.
Now, it appears he will miss more time – perhaps a considerable amount – after hurting his left knee. Perriman will have arthroscopic surgery Monday, and his the length of his rehabilitation should become clearer after the procedure.
His teammates, however, remained upbeat in his absence Sunday.
“He’s a fighter,” second-year tight end Maxx Williams said. “He’s going to battle through whatever he is, and he’s going to fight back as hard as he can.”
Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. said he heard about Perriman’s injury late Saturday night and said the biggest hurdle for Perriman to clear will be mental rather than physical. Smith, a 37-year-old veteran coming off a season-ending torn Achilles, said he will do his best to keep Perriman’s spirits up.
“You can give encouragement, but that encouragement, at the end of the day, it’s a little bit falling on deaf ears because he’s the one that’s going through it,” Smith said. “He’s the one that has to deal with surgery. He’s the one that just had an injury last year. You can always give encouragement to somebody, but they’re going through a lot, and you gotta be patient with him and understand what he’s going through.”
Smith had played at least 14 games in 13 of his first 14 NFL seasons until last year’s setback, and there was talk that the Achilles injury would end his career, considering he initially planned to retire after last season. But Smith decided to come back for another year and worked all offseason to regain his health. He believes Perriman will do the same.
Running back Justin Forsett, who broke his arm in Week 11 and missed the rest of the season, echoed Smith’s message.
“He’s just gotta be patient, keep faith in what you’re doing,” Forsett said. “Can’t control the injuries you go through, but keep battling and fighting. We’re with him. We’re going to support him until the end. He’s still a part of this team, and the worst thing he can do is isolate yourself. So we just want to make him know that he’s still a part of his team.”
Wide receiver Kamar Aiken, a fellow Central Florida product, also heard the news Saturday night when a friend texted him. Aiken didn’t think even Perriman knew the extent of the injury, mentioning how he continued to play through it during practice.
“I hope people don’t label him as a guy that gets injured,” Aiken said. “He’s just had a rough first two years, basically. It’s pretty much out of his control, nothing he could have did to change that.”
“It’s unfortunate,” Forsett added, “but hopefully it’s just a minor setback for a major comeback.”