With the preseason halfway over, the Ravens practiced on Monday with no fans in attendance, as training camp has officially ended. This also meant that members of the media saw a very limited amount of practice.
Even though practice was much more quiet than it has been so far, there were several pieces of news that came out on Monday for the Ravens. The attention was directed at injuries, with two players being activated off of the “Physically Unable to Perform” list. There were also updates given on two injured players. Below is a recap of every situation in regards to the four players, as well as some thoughts to go along with each scenario.
1. Elvis Dumervil activated off of PUP
This morning, pass-rush specialist Elvis Dumervil was activated off of the PUP list and practiced for the first time since undergoing an offseason foot procedure. The operation held Dumervil out of OTA’s and minicamp, so he has not set foot on a football field since the Ravens wrapped up the 2015 season. There was never really any details given of what exactly the procedure was, but it was serious enough to knock Dumervil out for all of training camp.
With Dumervil returning just six days before the Ravens play their “dress rehearsal” preseason game against the Lions, it is unlikely that he will play, but he is expected to be ready for week 1 against Buffalo.
“It’s a day by day situation,” Dumervil said when asked if he would play at all in the preseason. “The goal is the opener for sure.”
Thoughts: It was reasonable to expect Dumervil’s return to take place this week, considering his foot surgery was never described as serious. It is also reasonable to not expect the 32-year-old linebacker to play on Saturday, as the Ravens want him 100% for week 1.
2. Breshad Perriman activated off of PUP
Head coach John Harbaugh announced after Monday’s practice that 2015 first-round pick wide-out Breshad Perriman had also been activated off of PUP. Perriman missed his rookie season with a partially torn PCL ligament in his right knee. In June he also suffered a partially torn ACL in his left knee during OTA’s. Perriman avoided season-ending surgery, but received a stem cell injection into his knee to speed up the healing process. After receiving the injection, a mid-August return date was expected for Perriman.
Even though Perriman has been pulled off PUP, he will not practice fully right away. Instead, he will participate in “AACT” practice, which stands for alignment, assignment, corrections, technique. This is what Perriman will do until he is ready to participate in full team practices.
“[Perriman’s return is] very exciting,” Harbaugh said on Monday. I’m sure we will all be holding our breath a little bit. That’s just natural.”
Perriman will be on the field in the afternoon portion of the Ravens’ Monday practice.
“I didn’t know [his return] was going to happen right away, but I felt that watching him run, my diagnosis was that he was pretty close,” Harbaugh said.
Thoughts: It’s great that Perriman is getting back on the field at least for some individual work, but until he suits up for a game, let’s not get too excited. Remember, the dude hasn’t even made it through a full practice yet. With not playing in an actual football game in almost two years, and being in the trainers room for a good chunk of that time, there is no way that Perriman is in football shape. It will probably be awhile before that happens.
Also keep in mind that Perriman may have had all of the time in the world to study the playbook, but no one knows what he brings to the table until he gets in shape, stays healthy, and gets reps. Even if Perriman gets to that point, there will still be concern of whether or not he can continue to stay healthy.
3. Matt Elam injures knee in Saturday’s game against the Colts, out “a number of weeks.”
Not all of Monday’s news was fine and dandy for the Ravens. Harbaugh announced that safety Matt Elam injured his knee during Saturday’s preseason game in Indianapolis. The injury will require surgery, but Harbaugh said it is not season-ending.
“Matt fell on his knee in the game,” Harbaugh said. “He [needs] an arthroscopic surgery to go in there and clean it out. He had a chip come lose in there.”
After Elam gets the surgery, the Ravens will have to find out how long he will be out. Once they get that information, they can either please him on season-ending injured reserve, or on injured reserve with the “designated to return” tag. If this scenario occurred, Elam would have to be on injured reserve for six weeks before being activated.
Thoughts: This is another blow to the disappointing career of Elam. The 2013 first-round pick missed all of the 2015 season with a torn bicep, and now he will miss even more time. Elam is entering the final year of his rookie deal and was battling for a roster spot, but now his future in Baltimore appears to be even more bleak with now having to rehab another injury.
The good news is that the Ravens are fine at safety. The starters will be Lardarius Webb and Eric Weddle, and the Ravens also have Terrance Brooks, Kendrick Lewis, and Anthony Levine Sr. on the bench. It is unfortunate that Elam will be missing time especially with a mentor like Eric Weddle who was sure to be helping Elam improve his game.
4. Dennis Pitta has broken bone in finger, still no imminent return
On August 1 at the Ravens’ open training camp practice at M&T Bank Stadium, Dennis Pitta suffered the broken finger when he was trying to break up a fight. Pitta got in a scuffle with rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa, and has been held out of practice since suffering the injury.
“It’s absurd that it even happened,” Harbaugh said. “They’re afraid that if he gets hit again, they will have to put a screw in.”
Pitta has played in only seven games over the past three seasons due to two separate hip dislocations, but looked great in training camp before suffering the injury. Pitta is best friends with quarterback Joe Flacco, and the chemistry between the two looked like it had not lost a step in the early training camp practices.
“He really can’t catch right now,” Harbaugh said. “It’s ridiculous, it’s sad, and I’m upset about it. We need to get him back as soon as we can, but it’s not going to be this week.”
Thoughts: 100% agree with Harbaugh. It is never fun to see fights break out between teammates, especially if an injury is suffered from it. Pitta has had a miserable three years with the hip dislocations, and this finger injury just adds fuel to the fire. Hopefully Pitta’s finger heals and he can catch passes by September 11 for the opener, but as of now it does not look like that will happen.