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Breshad Perriman Is Back, And He's Stronger Than Before


After Ravens rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman missed his entire rookie season, the shots didn't stop coming.

In March, Perriman's good friend and former Ravens cornerback, Tray Walker, died. Earlier this month, Perriman's father, Brett, collapsed and was on life support, according to multiple reports.

In the year-plus since he was drafted by the Ravens in the first round, Perriman has been tested – both physically and mentally.

So when Perriman took the microphone Thursday at the end of the Ravens' first week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), he had a different demeanor.

"I feel much stronger," he said. "I feel like I went through a lot last year, and it made me a better player and a better person."

Perriman was off to a good start in OTAs and mandatory minicamp last year. He was a strong contender to be the team's starting wide receiver alongside Steve Smith Sr.

That is until what originally seemed to be a minor knee injury on the first day of training camp. It was later revealed to be a tear in his PCL.His knee* *did not respond well to treatment, then was aggravated and further torn during a pre-game warmup in Week 3. He was placed on injured reserve in mid-November.

Fans never got a chance to see the talented speedster, turning Perriman into the Ravens' version of Bigfoot.

Perriman said it wasn't until a couple months ago that he started to feel like his old self, physically. He said he was still being cautious running and had to push himself to go full-speed.

In Thursday's practice, Perriman looked like the same impressive receiver from last summer. He showed burst off the line of scrimmage and speed stretching the field.

"I don't even think about it anymore. I feel great," Perriman said.

As long as he stays healthy, Perriman will compete to be one of the Ravens' starting two wide receivers. He has a lot of challengers with Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken and more. On Thursday, Perriman lined up with the first-team offense.

"It feels amazing," Perriman said with a wide grin not seen too often last year. "I feel like a kid in a candy store."

While his rookie season was lost in terms of playing time, Perriman said he still "learned a lot." He's not a true rookie. Perriman said he stayed in the playbook throughout the year. He watched the game, took note of the speed and attended meetings.

Last year's injury left Perriman in a self-described "dark hole" in which he "shut everyone out." His parents noticed he wasn't answering their calls and flew up to Baltimore to help encourage him.

The lessons continued in the offseason with Walker's death and Brett's illness, but they didn't bring Perriman down as much as last year. Perriman said his father is doing better now.

"It's been crazy," Perriman said. "I've been through a lot this offseason, but it's just making me stronger again and just learning to keep faith and pray a lot more. It's been rough. It still is rough from time to time, but I'm steady getting through it, pushing through it and keeping faith."

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