Baltimore Ravens: Key Players Return to Practice

Sep 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman (18) stands on the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman (18) stands on the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens are happy to welcome back the stars who have been on the PUP list during the preseason.

The Baltimore Ravens had many injuries to key players last season and some during this offseason. Now, four players have returned from injury within the past week. Steve Smith, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and Breshad Perriman are all back on the practice field in some capacity.

Smith is a competitor. He is 37 years old and had an Achilles injury, but he has returned to practice.

“I’m sick of you all saying, ‘How can you depend on a 37-year-old to play this game after a ruptured Achilles?” Smith said on Thursday. “We’re going to see.”

He just wants to go back out there and fire up his teammates. That’s his end goal.

“I really came back not to set any records but more because this organization gave me an opportunity,” Smith said, his voice cracking at times. “When I got hurt, I felt like I let those guys down in the locker room.”

Smith also recalled a conversation with Ozzie Newsome, one that will stick with him forever.

“He had told me some things about why he thought I would be a good fit here,” said Smith. “He said, ‘If you can’t be yourself, we don’t want you to be here.’ When I got hurt…Ozzie and Coach Harbaugh talked to me and told me to take as much time as I want go decide about coming back.”

Suggs is also coming back from an Achilles injury and he returned last Monday. He’s is just as excited as many of the fans who want to see him and Smith play.

“It just feels like everything that we lost last year, we’re getting it all back,” said Suggs in an interview with the Baltimore Sun. “Now we’re starting to get our swag back, our chemistry, and everything is starting to feel good.

“Now we’re starting to feel like the Ravens again.”

His running buddy, Dumervil, has also return from the PUP list. Doom had foot surgery during the offseason and he made his return in an epic way:

In 2014, Suggs and Dumervil combined for 29 sacks, making them the best sack tandem in the league. With both players now back, this Ravens defense will be much better off in the long run. Corners can play the ball more and be more aggressive when there’s more pressure on the quarterback. The Ravens desperately needed them back, finishing 24th in total defense.

As for Perriman, things are looking up. He missed his entire rookie season with a PCL injury. The young wideout also tweaked his knee during offseason workouts, causing a huge scare. Some thought that he may have torn his ACL, but it ended up being a sprain.  He also has had many detractors calling him soft or careless. Perriman also wasn’t helped last year by head coach John Harbaugh’s cryptic updates on his health:

"He’s had probably one of the all-time slowest healing sprained PCLs ever. That’s nothing against him. It’s just the way it is. It’s tough. It’s one-in-some number, whatever Dr. [James] Andrews said it was."

Now, Harbaugh has announced that Perriman has been removed from the physically unable to perform list. He also has passed his physical, which is encouraging news.

Although this is very good news for the Ravens, they must take this with a grain of salt. He has still not been fully cleared to practice and he must get into football shape, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun:

Coach Harbaugh also explained that if Perriman can play, he indeed will play:

It was mostly good news from Owings Mills today, but it wasn’t all peaches and cream. Matt Elam injured his knee during Saturday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. However, it will not be season-ending according to the Ravens:

Dennis Pitta also is recovering from a finger injury that he had after a scuffle with Kamalei Correa during an open practice at M&T Bank Stadium. It was revealed to be broken on Monday by Harbaugh:

Although these aren’t the best things that could happen to a banged up team, this isn’t the end of the world. The Ravens have a good amount of depth at the tight end position.

Next: Ravens Beat Colts in Second Preseason Game

In other news, Chris Matthews has also returned to practice today. This should make for an exciting couple of weeks to see who will make the team at the wide receiver position.