OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Nearly three weeks after suffering a sprained knee on the first full-squad day of training camp, Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam that revealed nothing abnormal.
The rookie hasn’t practiced since injuring his knee while diving for a pass on July 30, but the ailment was initially described as a bruise that would not keep the first-round pick out for more than a day or two. Perriman underwent the MRI on Monday and has now missed 13 consecutive practices in addition to the preseason opener against New Orleans.
“[The results] came back, essentially, normal. We were looking for anything [unusual],” head coach John Harbaugh said. “It has just gone slower than our doctors anticipated it would, so we wanted to get an MRI and see if there was something in there that we didn’t know about, and there wasn’t. It was normal.
“[There is] still a little bit of swelling and still a little bit of sprain — that’s what they call it — and we just have to keep working on it and get him back.”
Though more than three weeks remain until the season opener in Denver, Perriman has missed valuable practice time as the Ravens hope he can provide a vertical threat in the passing game before eventually developing into the No. 1 wideout to replace the retiring Steve Smith at the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the organization believed the 6-foot-2, 218-pound receiver was well ahead of where former Raven Torrey Smith was at the same point in his rookie year before he caught 50 passes for 841 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011.
Selected with the 26th overall pick of the first round on April 30, Perriman is listed as the backup behind No. 2 receiver Kamar Aiken on the Ravens’ current depth chart. His absence and the extensive time missed by third-year receiver Marlon Brown have led to more opportunities for the likes of Michael Campanaro, Jeremy Butler, and Darren Waller to work with the first-team offense in three- and four-receiver formations.
Now all but guaranteed that Perriman will miss the Ravens’ second preseason game in Philadelphia, he would likely need to return at some point over the next several days to have a good chance to play in the all-important third preseason game against Washington on Aug. 29. Harbaugh typically does not play his starters in the preseason finale, meaning Perriman may not have the opportunity to gain live-game experience with quarterback Joe Flacco before the start of the regular season on Sept. 13.