Injuries aside the Baltimore Ravens should be a force to reckon with during the NFL’s 2015 season. But as we are all well aware, injuries in the National Football League can’t be cast aside. They are a huge part of the game and are oftentimes the difference between making a championship run and spending the Holidays at home on the EZ Chair.
Injuries affect all teams. The least injured ones often prevail. For the Ravens the training camp ailments are mounting but clearly the most concerning injury has to be that of wide receiver Breshad Perriman.
The speedy receiver from UCF has for all intents and purposes missed the entire 2015 training camp up to now and there’s really no end in sight. His involvement, his speed is critical to the success of the Ravens offense.
Without Perriman there is no one who can take the top off an opposing defense. Devoid of such a threat, teams will squat on offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s offense. With no fear of back end vulnerability they will choke off the short to intermediate passing game and bunker down their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage.
We’ve seen this before in the Mason/Clayton years and later in the Mason/Boldin years.
Joe Flacco’s passing lanes will narrow – windows of opportunity will shut more rapidly. Closer to the line of scrimmage, opposing defensive backs will contribute more to run defense, frustrating Justin Forsett & Co. while rendering the offense more predictable – a burden of facing too many 2nd and 3rd and long situations.
Perriman, much like his departed predecessor Torrey Smith, was supposed to change that. But there’s this mysterious knee injury that the Ravens apparently don’t want to explain.
Maybe the Ravens are embarrassed!
Maybe their doctors blew it when they examined Perriman before the 2015 NFL Draft.
You see the Perriman family has long suffered with a genetic affliction known as Osgood-Schlatter’s disease. According to MedicineNet.com:
Osgood-Schlatter disease is a disorder involving painful inflammation of the lower front of the knee, where the large tendon (patellar tendon) attached to the lower portion of the kneecap (patella) attaches to the bone (tibia or shinbone) of the leg below. The condition is characterized by localized pain where the tendon attaches to the tibia and tenderness in this area. Osgood-Schlatter disease is a disease of the growing child and is predominantly seen in young adolescent boys. It is felt that stress on the bone from the tendon tugging it during activities leads to Osgood-Schlatter disease.
The disease affected Breshad’s brothers Breon (25) and Brett, Jr. (32). And while it is generally believed to be an affliction that adolescents grow out of, there are cases in which severe pain of the knee can carry into adulthood. However, 60% of adults who once experienced Osgood-Schlatter disease have some pain with kneeling.
Now project this into the violent world of the NFL.
On a positive note treatment for OS rarely requires surgery but it does require rest. Breshad’s father Brett Perriman, worked his way through it and played in the NFL for 10 seasons, typically being available for 14-16 games per season.
Now let me be perfectly clear, I don’t know for a fact that OS has kept Perriman on the trainer’s table throughout camp. But when a MRI doesn’t show signs of damage and this disease has been a genetic flaw of the Perriman family, it’s hard to resist the temptation to connect the dots.
Meanwhile we wait for Perriman to eventually connect with Joe Flacco.
An offensive coordinator’s playbook depends on it.
And after investing a first-round pick on a player with a history of Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, perhaps a team doctor’s future depends on it as well.
UPDATE (10:23 AM): This was posted on our Facebook Page this morning in response to this article:
.@RussellStReport I also dealt with it growing up and it has led to myriad knee problems as an adult inc two non-contact ligament injuries.
— Ryan Wagner (@rwags614) August 27, 2015