OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In speaking to reporters for the first time since spraining his knee on July 30, Baltimore Ravens first-round pick Breshad Perriman opened up about how the misery of a lost rookie season exceeded the pain of the injury itself.
Wearing a brace on his right knee, Perriman looked clearly distraught over letting down his team and said he's "very confident" he'll make an impact in 2016.
"I was in a dark hole for a good period of time," said Perriman, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. "I feel like when next year comes around and I finally get healthy, I'm going to be more hungry than ever. I feel like I'm going to come back harder than I ever have."
Perriman, the No. 26 overall pick, partially tore his posterior cruciate ligament on the first day of training camp and was initially told that he would only miss a couple of days. The tear became worse when he aggravated the knee injury -- "I felt the pop in my knee," he said -- while trying to chase down an overthrown pass before the Bengals' game on Sept. 27, according to Perriman. He had his knee scoped on Oct. 1 and never returned to practice.
There has been an increasing level of frustration from fans and the team itself over a longer-than-expected recovery for Perriman. Ravens coach John Harbaugh even described the speedy receiver's injury as "one of the all-time slowest-healing sprained PCLs ever." It got to the point where Perriman wanted to block everyone out.
"I wasn't really talking to anybody," he said. "Finally, my parents noticed it because I wasn't even picking up their calls."
During his seven-minute session with reporters Thursday, Perriman insisted there is no long-term chronic issue with the knee and the injury had nothing to do with Osgood-Schlatter disease, which he experienced when he was younger.
"They basically told me once it gets back to 100 percent, I'll be good and I should be fine," said Perriman, who doesn't need any more procedures scheduled. "It could potentially happen again but the odds of that are going to be slim."
The Ravens have missed Perriman's explosiveness on the outside, especially after losing Steve Smith to a season-ending Achilles injury on Nov. 1. Baltimore doesn't have a receiver on the active roster who has caught more than 32 passes or is averaging over 14 yards per catch.
"It's been probably the hardest thing I've ever been through honestly," Perriman said. "Just a huge disappointment for me. I feel like I'm letting them down as well because I feel like I do have a role for this team. That's been really the hardest thing for me, really staying positive and knowing next year is going to be my year to help everyone hopefully have the greatest record ever here."