The Baltimore Ravens sought to bolster their wide receiving corps. in a major way during the 2015 NFL Draft when they made Breshad Perriman their first-round draft pick, but he has hardly even been on the practice field since then. Finally, however, the second-year wide receiver is set to make his NFL debut in the Ravens’ final preseason game.
Perriman tore his ACL during his rookie offseason—if I recall correctly, the first day of OTAs back in May 2015—and injury that, of course, sidelined him for the entirety of his rookie season. While the team held out hope for him during the season, he was finally placed on Injured Reserve in the middle of November.
Exactly a year and a month to the day after he first tore his ACL, it was feared that Perriman tore it again—and in fact he had, but this time it was only a partial tear, and initial worries that he would miss another entire season were allayed.
He began the Ravens’ training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform List, but was able to come off the list and gradually participate in practices a few weeks back. He has made steady improvement since then, and the coaching and training staff feel comfortable enough in his recovery that they believe he is able to see his first live action since his final collegiate game in December 2014.
Perriman came to the Ravens in 2015 as a 6’2”, 215-pound specimen with speed, though he has had a reputation for having spotty hands. He would not be alone in that, certainly—the Steelers have drafted a couple of them over the past few years.
It goes without saying that the Ravens want to get Perriman as much work in the final preseason game as much as possible, very much akin to what the Steelers are hoping to get out of their own rookie first-round draft pick, who has missed nearly all of training camp and the first three preseason games while nursing a quad injury.
While it’s unclear what sort of role Perriman might have initially—it’s unlikely that he will be in the starting lineup, at least initially, with Steve Smith, Mike Wallace, and Kamar Aiken in front of him—one would imagine that the offense is counting on him to offer the sort of role that only a player of his size and speed can provide.
The Steelers won’t get their first look at Perriman until midseason when they travel to Baltimore in early November, and a lot can happen between now and then. Who knows, perhaps he and Artie Burns will be running up and down the field together.