Michael Campanaro acknowledged being frustrated by the Ravens’ decision to make him a healthy scratch before Monday night’s 23-16 win against the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium. But the wide receiver-return specialist said the move made it clear to him that he has to perform better in practices and games to avoid another deactivation.
“I’ve just got to go out there and play better,” he said after Wednesday afternoon’s practice. “I just have to practice and show that I can be valuable to the team and be productive to the team more than, I guess, guys ahead of me. That’s all I can do, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Another player in Campanaro’s situation might have reacted differently. After all, the Clarksville native and River Hill graduate continues to lead the AFC and rank second in the NFL in punt-return average at 14.7 yards despite sitting out Monday, and he has five more catches and 37 more yards than Breshad Perriman, who took Campanaro’s spot on the game-day roster and caught no passes despite being targeted twice.
“We’re healthy now [at the receiver position], so we have to make some tough decisions,” coach John Harbaugh had said after that game. “We just decided that Perriman’s speed was something that we would want in this game. We wanted the chance to knock the top off, [have] crossing routes, change the angles a little bit on the coverage. We thought Breshad could do that for us, and that was why we decided that.”
Campanaro is not the type to point fingers. Instead, he simply said he knows what he has to do if he wants to be active for Sunday’s home game against the Detroit Lions.
“You’ve just got to control the things that you can control,” he said. “I’m just going to prepare like I always do and be ready. There are certain things that are just out of my control because there are a lot of different things that go into them. But when my number is called, I’ll be ready.”