Cousins Returns From 10-Day Absence

Oniel Cousins returned from a throat procedure to support a thin tackle situation.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

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Oniel Cousins might not be ready to go 100 percent at Ravens practice, but the fact that he was out there Thursday morning was a step in the right direction.

Cousins returned to the field after sitting out the first 10 days of training camp as he continues his recovery from recent throat surgery.

“It’s good to see him back,” said Head Coach John Harbaugh.  “We’ll ease him in, so we’ll see if we can build him up a little each practice so he can do a little bit more.”

Cousins, who also came off the non-football illness, physically unable to perform list, went to the doctor last month for a case of strep throat.  While there, a cyst was discovered on his esophagus, and Cousins needed surgery to remove it.

A small incision was made on the side of his chest during the procedure, which limited Cousins’ ability to twist his torso.

In addition, Cousins lost weight and fell behind in the conditioning he spent all offseason honing.

Now that Cousins is back, he can focus on getting his football legs back underneath him.

“I was in the hospital for about three or four days after having the surgery, but it went great,” said Cousins.  “I have a little ding up in there, but I just try to work it out every day and get back into the groove of football.

“I’m always trying to do something, but coming from my surgery, I couldn’t do much.  I’m doing way better now.  I’m walking around and running.”

Cousins said he was relieved it wasn’t cancer.

“They told me there was a 90 percent [chance] that it was a cyst, but they didn’t know until they took it out,” he explained.  “The procedure went great and everything was good.”

The Ravens need Cousins to support a thin tackle situation. On Thursday, Jared Gaither didn’t see much practice time – he missed a few sessions last weekend with cramps – and Tony Moll is recovering from a concussion. That left Joe Reitz and Ramon Harewood to take a lot of the tackle reps.

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