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Late For Work 6/13: Steve Smith Strongly Defends Teammate Breshad Perriman


Smith Strongly Defends Teammate Perriman

Wide receiver Breshad Perriman reportedly has a partially torn ACL and will get a second opinion today to determine whether he needs season-ending surgery.

The 2015 first-round pick could miss another full season because of a knee injury, but veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. had strong words for anyone who wants to criticize Perriman or label him a bust.

"The first thing that comes to my mind is all the bull crap] ass people that are going to have their comments about he's this and he's that," [Smith told ESPN at Lardarius Webb's charity softball game Sunday. "The injuries he sustained are not injuries Ozzie Newsome saw coming. These are not injuries that you can control. These aren't training injuries.

"These aren't injuries where he's not strong enough or not tough enough. When you slightly tear anything, that requires a lot of treatment and possibly surgery. I feel bad for him as a man because you're going to hear all the naysayers who weren't there, who didn't see what happened and don't really understand you can't control injuries."

Smith was one of several players who voiced support for Perriman at Webb's game Sunday. They understand the work he has put in over the last year and also know Perriman has endured an incredibly difficult start to his NFL career both on and off the field.

In addition to potentially missing his first two seasons, Perriman's father is recovering from a stroke he suffered last month. Perriman was also close friends with cornerback Tray Walker, who passed away after a dirt bike accident in March.

CSNMidAtlantic's Clifton Brown wrote that it "seems particularly cruel" for Perriman to get hurt again, and ESPN's Jamison Hensley said "it's bad luck combined with brutal timing."

"The concern for the Ravens is how Perriman will handle another devastating setback," Hensley wrote.
"As he dealt with last year's injury, Perriman sunk into what he described as a 'dark hole.' He started not returning his parents' phone calls, and coach John Harbaugh found it difficult to talk to him."

Perriman talked at the first week of Organized Team Activities about the challenges he's had to deal with in the last year, and now he has another in front of him.

"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," Perriman said last month. "It's been rough. It is still rough from time to time, but I'm steadily getting through it, pushing through it and keeping faith."

How Do Ravens Adjust After Injury?

If Perriman misses the season or a significant amount of time, the Ravens have to find to a way to replace him in the lineup.

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec asks whether they could go out on the market to find another pass catcher.

"Two weeks ago, the big question was how the Ravens were going to be able to keep so many talented receivers on their regular-season roster," Zrebiec wrote. "Now, with Perriman potentially done for the season, Michael Campanaro dealing with a calf injury, Steve Smith Sr. still sidelined because of his Achilles and Keenan Reynolds navigating a steep learning curve at a new position, people are wondering if the Ravens need to go out and add another receiver."

Veteran addition Mike Wallace and rookie fourth-round pick Chris Moore will get the first cracks at stepping in for Perriman as the speed threat on offense. The Ravens also still have Kamar Aiken, who started every game and put up 944 receiving yards last year.

Zrebiec said he thinks the Ravens "should be fine" without adding another receiver.

"The Ravens need fourth-round pick Chris Moore and [Keenan] Reynolds to grow up fast," he wrote. "Between Campanaro, Jeremy Butler, Chris Matthews, Daniel Brown and possibly even Darren Waller, the Ravens should be able to find two contributors."

CSN's Brown also pointed out that the Ravens are better equipped this year to handle an injury to Perriman. This year's roster has more depth at every offensive skill position, and he thinks the tight end group could help offset the loss. 

"With Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, and Dennis Pitta at tight end, the Ravens aren't dependent on any one target, either at wide receiver or tight end," Brown said. "If [Perriman] misses another season, quarterback Joe Flacco still has more weapons at this point than in 2015."

Minicamp Could Provide Clarity On Monroe

One of the lingering questions throughout the offseason has been what the Ravens plan to do with veteran left tackle Eugene Monroe. He still has three years left on his contract, but he's been snake bitten by injuries the last two years, and the Ravens spent the No. 6 overall pick on left tackle Ronnie Stanley.

Stanley has worked exclusively at left tackle during offseason practices as Monroe recovered from shoulder surgery, but Monroe tweeted last week that he's "cleared to play again."

"This week may provide some answers to left tackle Eugene Monroe's tenuous status with the Ravens," Zrebiec wrote. "Will he still be a Raven when players take the field Tuesday for the mandatory three-day minicamp? If he is, is he healthy enough to participate after having shoulder surgery last December? And where will he line up?"

According to Zrebiec, Monroe did not participate in OTAs last week after getting clearance to play. But those practices are still voluntary, so Monroe was under no obligation to participate. That changes this week at mandatory minicamp.

Monroe has been consistently mentioned as player in danger of getting cut or traded, and Zrebiec believes that releasing him "remains the likely outcome."

"Monroe's fate, though, was likely sealed when he wasn't able to start 17 of the Ravens' 34 games over the past two seasons after signing a big contract extension," Zrebiec wrote. "[It was likely sealed when] he started and finished just three games all of last season. And when the Ravens drafted his replacement in Ronnie Stanley in April."

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