Eisenberg: 'Issue Or Non-Issue' On Breshad Perriman, Darren Waller And More


It's time for another episode of "Issue or Non-Issue," the popular game show in which the hottest Ravens topics are dissected and then judged to be either hot air or worth the conversation.

There's plenty to discuss so let's get right to it.

Topic: Wide receiver Breshad Perriman avoided major surgery last month when a doctor determined a stem cell injection was the best treatment for his new knee injury.

Skinny: There were sighs of relief around the Under Armour Performance Center when Perriman received his good news. It meant he could possibly return for part or maybe even all of the 2016 season, as opposed to definitely missing a second straight full season. But while it was encouraging that he didn't need surgery, the timeline for his return remains unclear. Stem-cell treatment can provide immediate relief, but the injury still needs to heal, which could take weeks or months. The Ravens should have a better grasp of his situation when training camp opens and they hope Perriman can contribute in 2016, but for now, they're in wait-and-see mode.

Judgment: Issue. 

Topic: The Ravens have lost two players to drug suspensions during the offseason and they play the same position.

Skinny: Ordinarily, this would be alarming, but the Ravens are deeper at tight end than at any other position – so deep they can certainly get by without Nick Boyle, who will miss the first 10 games of the 2016 season, and Darren Waller, who will miss the first four games. In fact, with Benjamin Watson, Crockett Gillmore and Max Williams ahead of them on the depth chart and Dennis Pitta possibly returning, Boyle and especially Waller weren't even locks for the 53-man roster. As several others pointed out, getting suspended may actually help Boyle and Waller in the long run because their position is stacked but now the Ravens don't have to make decisions about them in early September, leaving time for a need to arise.

Judgment: Non-issue.

Topic: With Eugene Monroe and Kelechi Osemele gone, the Ravens will have a new left side of the offensive line, probably Ronnie Stanley at tackle and John Urschel at guard.

Skinny: There's no doubt the Ravens are giving up a lot of experience, as Monroe and Osemele have made a combined 141 NFL starts, while Stanley is a rookie and Urschel has made 10 starts. There's also no doubt the rugged Osemele will be missed; the Raiders have made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL. But the Ravens have been pleased with Urschel's versatility and consistency, and they're expecting big things from Stanley, their highest draft pick in more than a decade. This is a crucial transition and it is bound to include bumps, but overall, the ride might be smoother than expected.

Judgment: Issue.

Topic: Quarterback Joe Flacco didn't take a single snap during the spring season of minicamps and Organized Team Activity practices while rehabbing his injured knee.

Skinny: Pro football is all about practice repetitions, and Flacco missed a bunch, costing him a chance to start developing an on-field rapport with his newest targets, Watson and wide receiver Mike Wallace. But there'll be plenty of time for them to get caught up once training camp begins. If the Ravens were breaking in a new offensive coordinator, as was the case a year ago, the starting quarterback's prolonged absence could be problematic. But Marc Trestman is the first Ravens OC to work back-to-back offseasons since Cam Cameron in 2011 and 2012, so the unit is stable. And Flacco, 31, has been around long enough that his performance in the fall doesn't depend on what happens in the spring.

Judgment: Non-issue.

Topic: Mike Wallace's declining production.

Skinny: The Ravens' newest receiver caught only 39 passes last year, down from 73 the year before, and he hasn't produced a thousand-yard season since 2011. Some experts think the speedy former Pittsburgh Steeler star is in decline. But his greatest asset is his ability to get deep, and last season he played on a run-first Minnesota offense led by a young quarterback who "didn't attack deep," according to Pro Football Focus. Wallace is a better fit in Baltimore, where the Ravens are still trying to replace their former deep threat, Torrey Smith. It's too soon to bury Wallace, who is just 29 and has looked sharp in practice.

Judgment: Non-issue.

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