Wide receiver Breshad Perriman’s disastrous 2017 season has hit a new low. The 2015 first-round selection was a healthy scratch for the Ravens on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, getting what coach John Harbaugh called a “reset.”
“We’ll get Perriman back there. I know that question is coming and that’s a fair question,” Harbaugh said after the Ravens’ 23-0 victory at Lambeau Field. “He’s a young player and he gets a chance to take a breath. He’ll be back and he’s a downfield threat for us, too.”
Perriman missed one game this season with a concussion and he was sidelined for his entire rookie year in 2015 with a knee injury. However, Sunday marked the first time in his three-year career that he was a healthy inactive, and it came after he struggled mightily in the team’s pre-bye-week loss against the Tennessee Titans.
The wide receiver dropped two passes in that game, including one that resulted in Joe Flacco throwing an interception. He spent the past week of practice working with the scout team, which foreshadowed a game-day demotion.
“I talked to him on the plane back from Tennessee. I talked to him just in the locker room after the game. He’s going to be OK,” Harbaugh said of Perriman. “He’s confident. He’s tough. He wants to do well, but he’s probably a little ticked off. I hope he is. I want him to be ticked off. I want him to come out and show it with the way he practices.”
The Ravens kept four receivers in the lineup: Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Campanaro (River Hill) and Chris Moore. Campanaro and Moore both played key roles on special teams.
In what was expected to be a breakout season, Perriman has just seven catches for 54 yards in eight games this season.
“I’m not going to guarantee who is going to be active next week, but he knew the situation. He practiced really hard and really well this week,” Harbaugh said. “Breshad Perriman has a lot of character and he’s got a lot of talent. It could be like any sport. Sometimes you just kind of get reset a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, we also needed to get a punt returner out there this week. Campanaro was a big part of it. We knew we were going to get Maclin and Mike Wallace back. We knew we were going to be in tight end formations a lot. We just felt like that was our best combination this week given everything.
“I just don’t want it to be taken as a negative with Breshad. He’s not where we want him to be yet. He’s not where he wants to be yet. He wants to be a star in this league and making plays, and he’s going to be. I think his day is coming.”
Hurst struggles: Left tackle Ronnie Stanley was inactive because of a concussion, leaving normal left guard James Hurst to make his first start on the outside since last October. It was a struggle for Hurst and the offensive line, which was beaten for three sacks.
On one third-down play in the first quarter, Hurst barely got out of his stance as Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews blew past him to sack Flacco. The Ravens caught a break when Matthews was lost in the first half with a groin injury.
With Hurst moving to left tackle, Luke Bowanko made his first start at left guard, joining Ryan Jensen at center, Matt Skura at right guard and Austin Howard at right tackle. Howard also struggled for part of the afternoon.
“Obviously, our offensive line was in big-time flux when Ronnie couldn’t go,” Harbaugh said. “It created a major problem against them because their defensive line is one of the best in the league.”
Harbaugh was noncommittal about whether Stanley will be able to play next Monday night against the Houston Texans, saying: “We will cross our fingers to get Ronnie back. If we don’t, for some reason, then we will go with the guys we have and those guys will continue to improve.”
Woodhead returns: Danny Woodhead returned to action for the first time since he suffered a significant hamstring injury on the team’s first offensive drive of the regular season, leaving Terrance West (Towson University, Northwestern High) as the odd man out. Healthy again after missing four games with a calf injury, West was inactive.
In his return, Woodhead had one carry for 2 yards and five catches for 21 yards.
“He got two big first downs for us today. That’s enough,” Ravens receiver Mike Wallace said of Woodhead. “He’s been in the league 10, 11 years. I don’t think it will take a long time, but no matter who you are, if you’ve been out for a long time, it’s going to take you a second to get your juice back. I think hopefully next week he’s going to have it. He made some big plays for us. You can just tell by his impact on the field and just the energy that he brings. He’s just a veteran leader.”