Some of you may be familiar with Perry Baker, but for those who aren’t he is a wide receiver from Fairmont State who was invited to the East-West Shrine Game and in my opinion was quite impressive. He was learning specific things and was working hard to improve his route running there. Even still he was consistently burning DeMarcus Van Dyke, a corner who was severely overdrafted by the Raiders in the 3rd round almost entirely because of his speed. Still, he was burning a player who NFL teams (or at least one) thought warranted a draft pick and that says something about him.
The most amazing thing, however, was that he was doing it all on a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Yes, Perry did all of this with a torn meniscus in his knee. He played the majority of his senior season in college on a torn meniscus, he was invited to the East-West Shrine Game where he practiced and played on a torn meniscus, he trained and worked out for teams on that torn meniscus, and the reason he was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles after agreeing to sign as an Undrafted Free Agent was because of that same torn meniscus. Having interviewed Perry previously and seeing him play, I could barely comprehend that he did that all on a torn meniscus. Obviously it isn’t a dramatic, debilitating injury like an ACL or MCL tear, but having a tear in your knee in any way, shape or form is nothing to scoff at. That just makes what he was able to accomplish all the more impressive in my eyes.
Unfortunately, the Eagles were forced to fail him on his physical examination, since a tear in his meniscus isn’t something they can just overlook. It’s safe to say Perry was on a roller coaster ride of emotions after getting calls from teams and agreeing to terms with the Eagles, then hours later being notified of an unknown injury that he had been playing on for the better part of a year prior to being cut before even getting to show what he can do in training camp.
You have to feel for Perry because he is a great kid and he is a good football player, even if he doesn’t have much name recognition because of his time spent at a small school. But having talked to Perry during the East-West Shrine Game practices and after being in contact with him consistently since he got the offer from the Eagles until just minutes before writing this I can assure you that Perry is ready to work, ready to rehab and ready to make sure he gets his shot. He told me that the surgery went well and his first day of rehab was this morning bright and early. He has been doing range of motion exercises with his knee since the surgery on Friday morning at 6 am. He texted me again after his first rehab session and told me that it went great and that there was “no swelling in the knee at all” which is obviously a great sign. He told me that the expected recovery time for the injury is 2-3 weeks, which means he will have to make the most of any offers that come his way once he is healthy enough to pass a physical examination.
It is my hope, as well as everyone’s here at NFL Draft Monsters, that Perry is able to make a full recovery as fast as possible and that he is able to get another invite to training camp so that he has a chance to strut his stuff. I’m not sure how realistic that will be, but I have seen him play and I can attest to his ability. It would be unfortunate if he didn’t get another invite, but if he doesn’t I’m sure he will have options in the CFL or the UFL since both leagues had players taken from them to fill NFL training camp rosters. Then it is just a matter of time until he gets his shot later this year or if he must, he can wait until next year. That isn’t ideal obviously, but there are worse things.
So for those of you just learning about Perry Baker, this is just the first chapter of his post-rehab diary. There are many to come, and as I get more updates on his progress I will be sure to share them with you. I encourage you all to retweet this, share it with your friends and leave comments on this post offering well wishes to Perry as he begins his road to recovery and ultimately the NFL.
Thanks for reading, and good luck to Perry with his continued rehab efforts and we all wish him future success in the NFL!