Harbaugh expects PUP list players to be ready for season opener


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh hasn’t provided daily updates on the status of four high-profile players currently on the physically unable to perform list, but he does expect them to return for the start of the regular season.
Linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil (foot) and wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman (knee) have yet to practice this summer, but the Ravens are still counting on them all to be on the field when they open the 2016 season against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 11.
Players on the active PUP list who aren’t ready for the start of the regular season can be placed on the reserve PUP list, which does not count against the 53-man roster limit but requires them to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
“We do expect them all to play in the opener,” Harbaugh said. “As far as [them playing in] the preseason, it goes back to, ‘We’ll see.’ They all want to play, I know that. They’re all working really hard to play in the preseason, but we’re certainly expecting them all back for the opener. We’ll just have to make some decisions.”
Of the four, Smith could be the furthest away from returning to the practice field as he continues to work his way back from a right Achilles tendon tear suffered last Nov. 1. Previously planning to retire at the end of last season prior to the season-ending injury, the 37-year-old has said he’s not worried about playing in the preseason.
Dumervil underwent foot surgery in the spring, but his status for the start of the season is not considered to be in question.
Meanwhile, Perriman is working his way back from a partially-torn ACL in his left knee that wasn’t deemed serious enough to require reconstruction surgery. The injury occurred only two months ago, but the Ravens remain optimistic that he will be ready to go by the start of the season after he missed his entire rookie year with a right knee injury.
According to Harbaugh, Suggs is the closest to returning to practice after tearing his left Achilles tendon 11 months ago.
“He’s already on me about practice, and I’m holding him back right now,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll be out there soon practicing. How much we play him remains to be seen. The other guys are probably a little longer away than he is — him being ready — but we’ll just see where we go.”
Third-year running back Lorenzo Taliaferro also remains on the active PUP list while working his way back to full strength from foot surgery last fall.