But the 2015 season, in which the Ravens went 5-11 thanks in part to unprecedented injuries, forced many of the rookies into positions larger than what the team had planned and diminished their returns on the field. That leaves the hope for the future of those rookies hinging on them absorbing what they learned about being professionals and improving on what they realized were their shortcomings.
This is what the 2015 season has come to for these Ravens who play the two-time defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks on Sunday without their starting quarterback and possibly their backup, too. And that's just the beginning for an offense that has been torn apart by injuries, leaving seldom-used reserves as sudden starters, and former practice squad players as important contingency plans.
The Ravens haven't played a good, complete game yet in 2015. A lot of people will point to the high number of injuries as the main reason for the 3-7 record, but that's just a convenient excuse. This team has to address a lot of internal problems in the future.
A pair of Ravens wide receivers who have seen their impact limited by injury on the field this season made their presence felt off it Friday evening in Ellicott City at Michael Campanaro¿s second annual Toys for Tots drive.
The Jacksonville Jaguars' new regime under coach Gus Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell created a scheme that allowed their young receivers to grow into one of the game's most feared groups after just 24 games together. On Sunday, that will stand in contrast with the Ravens' group of largely street free agents left in the absence of injured veteran Steve Smith Sr. and first-round pick Breshad Perriman.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the ¿clock is ticking¿ on rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman, whose sprained PCL suffered on the first day of training camp has kept him off the field for the entire season and might prevent him from seeing the field at all this year.
Wide receivers coach Bobby Engram said rookie first-round draft pick Breshad Perriman is going through a "growing process" as he continues to rehabilitate a right knee injury that has sidelined him for the entire season so far.
Wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. (back) and Breshad Perriman (knee) weren¿t present during the early portion of practice for the Baltimore Ravens, nor were tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh, in another update on the status of rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman¿s injured knee, called his PCL sprain a ¿slow-healing deal,¿ and again confirmed there was no new damage seen during the scope conducted by Dr. James Andrews last week.
Unfortunately for Breshad Perriman, a lot of the publicity has been negative -- he's being called a "bust" and "soft." It's really unfair to the kid, because all he is trying to do is play through an injury.
Ravens starting tight end Crockett Gillmore and rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman missed a second straight practice Tuesday after the former was limited for the entire second half Sunday against the Bengals, and the latter appeared to tweak his sprained right knee in pregame warmups.
Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro and defensive end Chris Canty were the only two new absentees as the Ravens resumed practice this week ahead of Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, while wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) and left tackle Eugene Monroe (concussion) remained out.
The Ravens understand that immediate help for a passing game that floundered badly during a 19-13 loss to the Denver Broncos last Sunday isn't on the horizon. It's up to them to make do with what they have, and players and coaches insist they have more than enough to be an explosive offensive team.