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When training camp opened last summer and outside linebacker Sergio Kindle was back on the field again, it marked a tremendous return.
But the story of Kindle’s recovery isn’t over yet. He isn’t all the way back.
Kindle still has work to do if he’s going to return to the player he once was, and if he’s going to make it in the NFL.
Physically, hearing loss may never allow him to be the same player. But if he can overcome that, it would make Kindle’s story all the more special – not to mention useful for the Ravens.
“If he comes back and becomes a player in the NFL, it’s going to be an unparalleled accomplishment,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the owners meetings.
“But you know what? We think it can happen and we’re going to know by the end of training camp.”
It will be Kindle’s first full offseason, which Harbaugh said will be very valuable for him.
After falling down a flight of stairs and fracturing his skull just before training camp in his 2010 rookie season, Kindle spent all of that year essentially on injured reserve.
He made the active roster last season, but suited up for just two games and only saw defensive action in mop-up duty.
“We’re looking for big improvement,” Harbaugh said. “He’s coming from a major injury where he had severe nerve damage to being a productive player in the NFL. … I don’t know anybody that has stuck with a guy through this kind of off-field injury in the history of the NFL.”
Ever the optimist, Kindle still believes he can make it in the NFL. And Harbaugh is crossing his fingers for him.
“I’m really hopeful that he can get it done and I’m excited if he can because he’s really a talented guy and he’s a good guy,” Harbaugh said.