As news spread Saturday afternoon that wide receiver Breshad Perriman had reportedly suffered a partially torn ACL, his teammates were as surprised as anyone.
Kamar Aiken found out through a mutual friend of his and Steve Smith Sr. heard late Saturday night. It was tough news to get because they saw how hard Perriman worked to get back on the field after a different injury in his other knee cost him his entire rookie season.
"I didn't know he was hurt at all," Aiken said at Lardarius Webb's charity softball game Sunday. "I don't think he knew. I think he was still practicing and still going, so I don't think he knew anything was wrong."
"It's unfortunate," Smith said. "I just really think that when injuries like this happen, the biggest thing is not the physical, but it's the mental – mentally what he's going to have to deal with. As teammates and friends, we can help him, give him guidance, but at the end of the day he's the one who's going to be going through it, and he's the one who is going to have to deal with it each and every day.
ESPN first reported Perriman's injury, and the second-year receiver is set to visit renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews Monday to determine whether he needs season-ending surgery. The injury reportedly occurred in Thursday's practice during a non-contract drill while Perriman was running a fade route.
If Perriman does need surgery, it will be the second year in a row that knee issues keep him from even completing a training camp practice.
"It's tough, especially a guy like that who hasn't gotten on the field yet," defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. "He was working when he was out and when he was playing he was doing a great job. But right now it's just that he [was dealt] a bad hand."
Several teammates voiced support for Perriman and confidence that he will able to come back from the injury.
"We're going to stay behind him," Aiken said. "I'm fully confident that when he gets back healthy and everything starts going in his swing, it will flip. Right now it's just been tough the first two years. I hope people don't label him as a guy who gets injured. He's just had a rough first two years. It's pretty much out of his control, nothing he could have done to change that."
The Ravens were counting on last year's first-round pick to a play a key role in the offense this season. He consistently ran with the starters during Organized Team Activities, and he was going to compete for a starting job in training camp.
However long Perriman is out, the Ravens will need Kamar Aiken, Mike Wallace and Chris Moore to step up in his absence. Aiken started every game last year after Perriman went down, and he is in line for a starting job again. The Ravens also added Wallace and Moore this offseason to give them the critical element of speed in the offense.
"We have a solid group," Aiken said. "We have a lot of guys in our room this year and it should be very competitive. We still have guys we can get the job done with."
The Ravens also have to wait to get Smith back on the field as he recovers from a torn Achilles he suffered last year. Smith has not practiced yet, and he was non-committal on an exact return date. He did show of his progress by jogging down the field at the softball game.
"I'm taking it day to day," Smith said. "I was taking it day to day when I got hurt and I'm taking it day to day now. This is actually the first day I put on cleats, so it feels good."