Breshad Perriman was just a few blades of grass away from making the biggest play of his young career.
The Ravens' second-year receiver caught a 23-yard game-tying touchdown pass with 33 seconds left in Sunday's game against Washington, but the officials overturned the call after determining that Perriman failed to keep both feet in bounds.
The reversal wiped six points off the board, and the Ravens' bid at a comeback ended three plays later. Instead of that touchdown likely giving them a late lead, the Ravens ended up falling to the Redskins 16-10 at M&T Bank Stadium.
"Of course it hurts bad," Perriman said. "They gave me the opportunity to make the play, but I didn't make it. Right now, words can't really explain how hurt I am. I just have to do better, like really emphasize situations like that, and making those big catches."
When Perriman made his way to the locker room after the game, veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr. brought him in close for a conversation. The two talked quietly for a few minutes in front of Smith's locker.
"Basically [he told me] to keep my head up," Perriman said. "Got to make the catch, like I already knew, but just keep my head up, stay positive."
The near touchdown exemplified the potential the Ravens saw in Perriman when drafting him in the first round last season. He beat All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman off press coverage at the line of scrimmage, giving him separation in the back of the end zone.
Quarterback Joe Flacco put the ball in a good spot, Perriman caught the football, but he just wasn't able to drag his foot to secure the catch in bounds.
"I knew I was close to the sideline, but I thought my heel dragged down before I went out, but that wasn't the case," Perriman said. "It went from real good to real bad real quick."
Flacco had a feeling from the time the touchdown was ruled a catch that it might get wiped off the board.
"I didn't celebrate at all. I didn't do anything because I wasn't sure what was going on," Flacco said. "I never really believed it because you know how many things can happen, and you know that's going to get looked at, so I wanted to kind of hold my emotion until I knew for sure."
That play exemplified a feeling of what-could-have-been for Perriman. He also dropped a likely long touchdown pass earlier in the game where Flacco hit his hands in stride. Perriman finished with two catches for 11 yards.
"I've never had a situation like this, so I'm sure it's going to be tough," Perriman said. "It's going to be on my mind probably all week until the next game. So, go out there with that in my mind and kind of give me an edge and kind of make me a little [hungrier], and go out there and improve day-to-day."