Breshad Perriman can't remember the last time he finished a game with zero targets, as he did in the Ravens' loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. But it's not something the second-year wide receiver is stressing over.
"It is what it is," he said after Wednesday's practice. "Unfortunately, stuff like that happens when you go through games where you may have one, two or even zero catches. You just play the cards you're dealt. That's basically it."
Perriman's quiet performance marked his first contest with zero catches as a healthy and participating wideout through his three-year career at Central Florida and the first nine games of the current season. It was additionally surprising considering that he caught three passes for 64 yards and his first NFL touchdown in a victory over the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 10.
Perriman credited the Cowboys defense for covering him and forcing quarterback Joe Flacco to look elsewhere.
"I just think the routes that I was running, they played perfect coverage," he said. "It's not like they were singling me out to take me out of the game. They had the perfect coverage for every route that I ran.
"Any receiver wants the ball. So you get a little frustrated, but you can't let that affect you too much or that will throw the whole game off for you. So I tried to stay focused, and if it came my way, I'll make the best of my opportunity. But I was fine."
Perriman has played in all 10 games this season and he has 20 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown. The 2015 first-round draft pick had three receptions in three of his four games before he was shut out against the Cowboys. Flacco cited experience as the biggest key toward Perriman improving.
"Not everything is going to be perfect, but the fact that he is out there and that he is working through things is going to do nothing but get him better and better," Flacco said.
Dixon feeling good: Running back Kenneth Dixon's increased role on offense has coincided with the rookie working himself into better shape and gaining more confidence in his knee. The fourth-round pick missed the first four games of the season with a partially torn MCL in his left knee.
When he returned, he looked a little tentative and totaled just six carries for 10 yards and three receptions for six yards over his first three games. In three games since, Dixon has gotten 21 total carries and gained 91 yards. He also has seven receptions for 42 yards.
He has looked particularly explosive the past two games, averaging 6.5 yards on his 12 carries.
"I feel really good," he said Wednesday. "We have some great trainers like Mark Smith. I got in and got rehab and kind of slimmed up a little bit and got to running on my knee, and got a lot of confidence back in it. I started to get back in the offense and learn all my plays over again and started to feel more comfortable."
Coach John Harbaugh and Flacco both spoke this week about the benefits of getting the ball in Dixon's hands.
"He is just a good runner," Flacco said. "He has good vision. He has the suddenness to make people miss when he gets in space. If we can keep him going, it is definitely going to be good for us."