As the Ravens take the field against the Eagles in the preseason opener on Thursday, expect to see linebacker Sergio Kindle participating in the first game action of his pro career.
Kindle, the Ravens' top draft pick last year, fractured his skull last July and missed the entire 2010 season. He seemingly hasn't been held back at all in practices this camp, however, and defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano says he'll throw Kindle out there against Philadelphia and see how he responds.
"Absolutely, especially in sub situations and pass-rush situations," Pagano said, when asked of the prospect of seeing Kindle on Thursday. "We want to get him in there and put him on the edge and let him go."
It will be interesting to see how Kindle responds to the opportunity. The former University of Texas star has looked good in camp - for a guy that hadn't put on a helmet and had real contact in over a year, that is - but in a lot of respects, he's still a rookie who is trying to grasp the playbook and get back in the flow.
As for cornerback Jimmy Smith, who is being slowly eased back from a hamstring injury, Pagano said that the rookie is progressing and could play on Thursday against the Eagles.
Smith has spent the last two practices taking part in individual drills but has not yet returned to full-team work.
"We're being pretty cautious with him still," Pagano said. "I think he jumped in there and did a little bit of special teams (on Monday), and got a few reps here and there, but we're making sure we don't push him too hard and have another setback.
Pressed on whether Smith would be given the night off on Thursday, Pagano responded: "I wouldn't say that. We'll see."