Ravens No. 1 receiver Steve Smith passed his physical Wednesday and will be activated from the physically unable to perform list, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Smith, whose 2015 campaign ended Nov. 1 because of a torn Achilles, could return to practice Monday.
Prior to the premature conclusion to his season, Smith announced that it would be his last in the NFL. But, not wanting to go out on a poor note, the 15-year veteran declared at the end of December that he’d come back for a 16th season. That is now officially the case for Smith, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro who spent the first 13 years of his career in Carolina before joining Baltimore in 2014.
Despite his age (36 at the time), Smith was amid yet another stellar showing at the time of his injury last fall. The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder registered 46 receptions for 670 yards and three touchdowns in parts of seven games. The Ravens still disappointed as a team, though, going 2-5 in those contests before ultimately finishing 5-11. Smith, who’s set to earn $3MM in the final year of his contract, will try to help Baltimore back to the playoffs and further his Hall of Fame case. In 205 career regular-season games, he has amassed the 11th-most receiving yards (13,392) and 15th-most catches (961) in history. With 76 receiving touchdowns, he’s currently in a three-way tie with Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff and Harold Jackson.
While Smith will be a fixture in the Ravens’ receiving corps this year, it’s unknown if the same will prove true in regards to Breshad Perriman. The Ravens took Perriman 26th in last year’s draft, but he ended up missing the entire season after spraining the PCL in his right knee on the first day of training camp. The injury didn’t heal properly over the course of several months, and after Perriman underwent arthroscopic surgery in October, the Ravens placed him on IR in November. There was then fear this past June that Perriman had suffered another serious knee injury, this time a torn ACL, though that was quickly shot down. Nevertheless, the 22-year-old still hasn’t practiced three weeks into training camp, notes Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun, and head coach John Harbaugh was unable to provide much of an update Tuesday.
“He’s running. He’s on the ground running right now, but I haven’t been told that he’s going to be back to practice tomorrow,” said Harbaugh. “I’m just like the fans. I’m waiting for him to be back out there. When he’s ready, he’ll be back out there.”
Further, quarterback Joe Flacco didn’t express much confidence about building chemistry with Perriman.
“It’s tough to say. It’s tough for me to even worry about right now because we have so many other guys that we have to worry about getting better and getting on top of it,” Flacco stated.
Without Perriman, the Ravens still have three productive wideouts on paper in Smith, Kamar Aiken and free agent pickup Mike Wallace. Their next best option is likely fourth-round rookie Chris Moore, as Roster Resource shows. Moore, however, just returned to practice from a two-week absence caused by a foot injury.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.