Kindle Will Practice Thursday

After a long wait, Sergio Kindle is ready to begin his NFL career.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

Linebacker Sergio Kindle practiced Thursday as the Ravens held their first session of training camp at team headquarters in Owings Mills, Md.
 
A year removed from suffering a serious head injury in a nasty fall down a flight of stairs and missing his entire rookie season, Kindle feels more than ready to join his Ravens teammates.

“First and foremost, I need to get back on the field and get into the groove of things,” Kindle said Wednesday.  “At the same time, I’ve got to get back into the playbook to make it second-nature so I don’t have to think.  I’ll just be able to do and not hesitate.
 
“I’ve just been waiting for this time and doing everything I could to prepare for this moment. Now, I’ve just got to do it.”
 
Reports surfaced on Thursday that Kindle would not begin camp on the physically unable to perform list, but he was in on the action from the beginning.  And the Texas product was not afraid to stick his helmet in the mix and take contact.
 
Kindle’s enthusiasm impressed Head Coach John Harbaugh.
 
“He looked good. Obviously, that’s one step but I’m just happy for him,” Harbaugh said after practice.  “He had ‘joy’ written all over his face. He was even smiling during the conditioning test he was so happy to be here. He practiced well so it’s going to be fun to see how he progressing and we have high hopes for him right now.”

2-Minute Drill:
Ravens Kickoff 2011 Training Camp

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Kindle expects to be brought along cautiously, especially considering he was cleared for contact only a few months ago. 
 
What should help at the meetings he was able to attend at the Ravens’ facility towards the tail end of the 2010 campaign.
 
“I’m not sure yet what my status will be,” said Kindle, who had worked all offseason at a training facility in Dallas.  “I’m pretty sure I won’t jump all the way into it at first, it might be more gradual so I can work my way up.
 
“And as crazy as it sounds, the lockout was beneficial for me. I was able to sit back and strengthen my head for that extra few months.  I got to make sure I was 110 percent instead of just 100.”
 
The accident dramatically reduced Kindle’s hearing capacity in his left ear, but the equilibrium issues that were reported earlier this year have passed.
 
Embarking on rookie season No. 2, the former second-round draft pick has his eye on a pass-rushing role that supplements sack-leader Terrell Suggs.
 
“That was part of the reason I got drafted last year,” Kindle said. “I want to get in the mix of things to put myself in a position where I can be that guy on the left side of Suggs.”
 
At this point, Kindle’s teammates are just happy to see him on the field.
 
“I was speaking to Sergio before we even came back, and he told me the doctor cleared him,” said linebacker Ray Lewis.  “I was ecstatic just to hear that news.  A young kid like that has a future now. He can really go and pursue what he wants to pursue.
 
“Now, to see him out there running around, see the smile on his face just to be back on the football field, there’s nothing more rewarding than being around that right now.”

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