Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman acknowledged that he understands why he was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career Sunday in Green Bay.
"Yeah, I understand. I do understand," Perriman said in the locker room after practice Wednesday. "I don't totally agree with it, but I understand why it happened."
Perriman, the Ravens' first-round draft pick in 2015, amassed just seven receptions on 26 targets in the Ravens' first nine games.
Per league rules, the team must declare seven of its 53 players inactive for every game. Head Coach John Harbaugh and the coaches base those moves on what they think they'll need from various players and positions that day, with injuries and the game plan figuring prominently in the decision-making.
Many fans were surprised to see Perriman among the inactives in Green Bay, given that he's a relatively recent first-round pick. But Perriman had an inkling it might happen.
"They had some thoughts about it earlier in the week, I kind of had an idea," he said. "I was kind of going through it, but it was good that I kind of knew before Sunday. I kind of had more time to prepare, not that you can prepare for it.
"It was very different. Being a competitor, man, I want to go out there and compete with my guys every week. It was definitely going out there and just having to sit and watch them go to war without me."
Speaking to the media Wednesday, Harbaugh outlined the parameters for future decisions about playing Perriman
"It'll be based on the game plan and based on what I think gives us the best chance to win the game," Harbaugh said Wednesday.
Harbaugh warned against reading too much into the decision not to play him last week.
"It's a long career. In this league, things aren't decided in one day. It's not decided in one week, two weeks or even a season. Look at Alex Collins," Harbaugh said, referencing the Baltimore running back who played little for the Seattle Seahawks as a rookie last season, was cut in September and now ranks among the NFL's top rushers.
Harbaugh continued: "I do believe in Breshad. I do believe he's going to play well. He'll be back up as soon as it makes the most sense for us to win the game and it could be this week. We haven't decided yet."
There'll be a locker-room-wide effort to continue supporting Perriman and help keep his spirits up, quarterback Joe Flacco said Wednesday.
"That's a struggle that you deal with during the year with multiple players on both sides of the ball, not just him," Flacco said. "Everybody deals with that. The more that I and his teammates can rally around him and remind him of those things, it's definitely going to pay off in the future. And yes, it definitely starts with me."
If anything, though, Perriman sounded as if he could not wait for another chance to prove himself.
"It's definitely a test. I've been through a lot of tests throughout my career, throughout my life in general," he said. "I'm not that worried about it. I know I'll overcome it. I'll come back from this test better.
"It definitely will be used as motivation. Anytime you're not out there, of course, it's got to be some type of motivation."