Late For Work 8/17: 5 Reasons It Would Be Smart For Breshad Perriman To Start Season On PUP

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5 Reasons It Would Be Smart For Breshad Perriman To Start Season On PUP

This is starting to feel a little too reminiscent of last year.

The Ravens hoped wide receiver Breshad Perriman would return from his knee injury by mid-August, but that is up in the air now. He's running, but that's all we know.

It wouldn't be such a big deal around town if the 2015 first-round pick didn't go from "day-to-day" to missing his entire rookie campaign last year. Fans aren't happy that he appears to take longer than usual to recover.

But, there might be a little overreaction out there.

As WNST's Luke Jones pointed out, it's been just over two months since Perriman injured his left knee, and some reported medical estimates for recovery were for at least three months after getting a stem-cell injection to his injured ACL.

So, perhaps, Perriman isn't that far off. Running is a step in the right direction.

The Ravens have until Sept. 3 to decide whether to keep Perriman on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. If he stays on it, he would miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. Harbaugh has said previously that he thinks Perriman, along with the other players on PUP, should be ready to play in the regular-season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

But CSNMidAtlantic.com's Bo Smolka isn't so sure having Perriman suit up Week 1 is a good idea.

"[A]lthough Harbaugh and the Ravens want Perriman and his big-play potential on the field as soon as possible, placing Perriman on the regular-season PUP list … might be the smart thing to do," Smolka wrote.

Smolka gives five reasons to keep Perriman on PUP to start the season:

1)      Perriman has zero game action under his belt, and at this point, it looks doubtful that he'll play in a preseason game this month. Even quarterback Joe Flacco admitted they've had almost no time to develop chemistry together. "How sharp could he be?" asks Smolka.

2)      The Ravens already have injury issues at wide receiver with Steve Smith Sr., Michael Campanaro and Chris Moore. Campanaro and Moore have returned, but their dependability is still a question mark. Should the Ravens keep four receivers that aren't 100 percent?

3)      Baltimore is already facing a numbers crunch at receiver, and coaches could choose to keep four tight ends with the return of Dennis Pitta instead of the usual three. Keeping Perriman on PUP could open up a spot for a bubble player that is healthy, such as receiver Jeremy Butler.

4)      Based on the scrutiny Perriman is already under, Smolka believes easing him into action in Week 7 or 8 would take some of the pressure off.

5)      If Perriman is activated in October, other injuries are almost sure to take down other Ravens players, and the team could probably use a completely healed Perriman at that point.

"Harbaugh has said he expects Perriman to be a playmaker in 2016, and the Ravens need him to be," wrote Smolka. "But at this point, that might not be until late October." 

NFL Fan Base Rankings Might Trigger Your Gag Reflex

WARNING!

Ravens fans could experience mild nausea, discomfort in the abdomen, a feeling of dizziness and pharyngeal gagging while reading this.

CBSSports.com recently released its NFL fan base rakings based on the voting of five panelists, and two of the Ravens' most despised rivals made the top four.

The fan bases from New England and, ugh, Pittsburgh were ranked as the second (tied) and fourth best in the league, respectively. Almost as annoying is the Dallas Cowboys took the top spot, perpetuating the notion that they're "America's Team."

You have to scroll pretty far down to find the Ravens fan base* *listed at No. 15.

"Forget Joe Flacco, the bigger question we should be asking ourselves is, 'Are Ravens fans elite?'" the website wrote. "If we're going strictly by attendance (100 percent capacity in 2015) and haircuts, then the answer is yes."

So why not give them an elite ranking?

Another question I have: How can a fan base that swears their quarterback is God be ranked so high?

"Depending on who you ask, Patriots fans are either the most insufferable in football or the best fans on earth," CBS wrote. "Based on our voting, our panel is definitely leaning toward option No. 2. The best thing about Patriots fans is that they all basically live by the same three commandments: 1) Deflategate's a sham. 2) Roger Goodell should be fired. 3) Tom Brady is God."

They're the most insufferable in Baltimore. Well, them and black-and-gold wearing, Terrible Towel twirling Pittsburgh fans. I feel like when the most-decorated Olympic athlete of all time shudders at the very sight of Steelers paraphernalia, it should knock them down the list one or two … or 28 spots.

"Steelers fans aren't just limited to Pittsburgh, though," the CBS reporters wrote. "If you've ever watched a Steelers away game on television, you may have noticed that half the stadium -- or more -- is filled with Steelers fans."

Really?

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Here's the funny thing. A poll conducted at the end of last season by Public Policy Polling already asked people around the country who the worst NFL fan bases are, and America said it was the Patriots. In second place were the Cowboys, and the Steelers came in at No. 4.

My guess is Baltimore mostly agrees with the rest of America, only pushing those Steelers fans closer to the top of the "worst" list.

Joe Flacco's Preseason Absence Is No Cause For Concern

Flacco didn't officially rule himself out of Saturday night's second preseason game in Indianapolis yesterday, but he sure didn't make it sound like he'd suit up.

While his absence for the second game would be a little "unusual," it wouldn't be any cause for concern, says Hensley. Here's why Hensley feels that way:

1)      Flacco hasn't missed any reps in training camp practice, which is a good sign that his knee is fine.

2)      This has been one of the best training camps of Flacco's career.

3)      Flacco isn't thinking about his injury while on the field, and he's playing like there was never an ACL tear.

"So, why aren't the Ravens playing Flacco in the preseason?" asked Hensley. "They're deferring to Flacco, who has earned the right to weigh in this decision.

"He made it clear at the start of training camp that he wants to be ready for the regular season, not the preseason. If the Ravens play it safe with Flacco for the first two preseason games, it's a decision that's been made easier by how Flacco has performed in training camp."

Baltimore One Of League's Most Improved Backfields

NFL.com's Chris Wesseling named five teams that appear to have significantly improved backfields heading into the 2016 season, and the Ravens made the fifth and final spot.

Led by veteran Justin Forsett, who is returning from a season-ending broken arm, the Ravens added rookie Kenneth Dixon. They also have second-year player Buck Allen and Terrance West returning. Allen started six games in place of Forsett last season, and West has been one of the most impressive players of training camp.

"Baltimore might be forced to cut ties with a quality runner when the final roster is set," wrote Wesseling. "General Manager Ozzie Newsome has selected a fourth-round running back in each of the past three drafts while hitting the lottery with undersized veteran Forsett as an afterthought free-agent signing in 2014. Given how impressive Terrance West has been in training camp and the first preseason game – running downhill with decisiveness, vision and burst – it's reasonable to believe Newsome has another successful reclamation project on his hands.

"In an ideal world, West proves too effective to stash on the bench, teaming with passing-down specialist Buck Allen as a productive one-two punch while leaving impressive rookie Kenneth Dixon as a change-of-pace option. Still on the active/PUP list with a foot injury, power back Taliaferro appears to be the odd man out of the early-season rotation."

Buffalo Bills Losing Handful Of Players To Injury and Suspension

As the Ravens continue to see top players return to practice, their Week 1 opponent has been losing players.

Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Dareus can still appeal, but it seems unlikely that he'll be available in the season-opener at M&T Bank Stadium.

This is on top of the Bills losing second-round rookie linebacker Reggie Ragland and defensive end I.K. Enemkpali for the season with ACL tears. Their first-round pick this year, Shaq Lawson, is expected to be out for at least another month after shoulder surgery.

That's just the defensive side of the ball.

Running back Karlos Williams is also suspended for the first four games, and the Bills have been banged up across the offensive line. They did finally get some positive news with receiver Sammy Watkins back to practice after nursing a broken foot.

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