Head Coach John Harbaugh gave injury updates on three of the team's top receiving threats Monday morning, clearing up some confusion and giving an outlook on their possible returns.
He spoke about rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee), veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (back) and tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf).
Perriman: 'All-Time Slowest' Healing PCL
Harbaugh stated for the first time exactly what Perriman's knee injury entails. It's a strained posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), which he suffered on the first day of training camp, July 30.
"He's had probably one of the all-time slowest healing strained PCLs ever," Harbaugh said. "And that's nothing against him; that's just the way it is. It's just tough. It's one in some number."
Perriman returned to practice on a limited basis on Sept. 24, but was only running routes at a slow speed and doing individual drills. He did not participate in full-team practice.
Media questions arose when reporters saw Perriman working out before the Week 3 game against Cincinnati. When trying to accelerate for a deep pass, Perriman pulled up lame and seemed to be in pain. There were reports that Perriman re-injured the knee.
The following week, Perriman visited renowned orthopedic sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who conducted an MRI and then went in with a scope to see for himself whether there was any new injury.
"I think there's always a little bit of strain and soreness when you push it a little bit, but there was no new injury there," Harbaugh said.
Perriman also received a platelet therapy injection of stem cells to try to speed up his recovery process.
"Hopefully that will have a good impact on it," Harbaugh said. "We'll see how it comes along this week. I'm looking forward to it and seeing how fast he can get recovery from it. … I think when we get him out there at full speed and running routes and practicing with the units, that's when you'll know he's got a chance to come back and play."
Smith Sr.: 'Pain Tolerance Hall of Fame'
Smith's back is also just going to take time to recover. While at Saturday's Maryland-Michigan game, Harbaugh told CSN's Lou Holder that Smith has some microfractures in his back and has been ruled out for Sunday's game against Cleveland.
On Monday, Harbaugh said Smith hasn't been "officially" ruled out and any designation on his game status will have to wait for the injury report.
"He's week-to-week," Harbaugh said. "The injury report rules people out. I've got my own thoughts on it, as I've stated, but I'm just telling you there's a process."
Harbaugh confirmed that the injury will not require surgery. It's just a matter of pain tolerance.
Anybody that's had severe back pain before can attest to how difficult it can be to function, let alone play football. Harbaugh said the Ravens can help Smith by adding additional padding, though it still likely won't feel good to get hit.
Harbaugh said they won't put Smith back on the field until he proves he can "really function, protect himself, play hard and fast." But you can bet on Smith, who is retiring after this season, will do his best convincing.
"Knowing Steve, he'll want to be out there," Harbaugh said. "He probably has one of the all-time high pain tolerances that you'll ever see. He's in the Hall of Fame of Pain Tolerance. That's what our doctors told me, so that's quite a compliment."
Gillmore, Canty Could Face Browns
While Smith and Perriman look highly doubtful to play this week, Gillmore could be back.
Gillmore suffered a calf injury against the Bengals and sat out the second half of the game. On a short week, he didn't practice or play against the Steelers. Now Gillmore "has a chance this week," according to Harbaugh.
Getting Gillmore back could be a boon considering he was one of quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite targets with 10 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns before going down.
Veteran defensive lineman Chris Canty, who has missed the past two games, could also make his way back this week.
"[Gillmore and Canty] both had very similar calf strains," Harbaugh said.