With Trevor Pryce now off the Ravens' roster (at least for a little while) and Cory Redding coming off a concussion suffered on Sunday against the Browns, second-year defensive end Paul Kruger might finally have his chance to be active for a 2010 regular season game.
Kruger has been one of the Ravens' gameday inactives each of the first three weeks of the season, but given the team's current situation at defensive end, it looks like the 2009 second-round pick might be counted on to make some major contributions against the Steelers this weekend.
"I don't know Cory's situation, but it definitely looks like an open door," Kruger acknowledged today.
Kruger made a move from outside linebacker to defensive end this offseason, and had a strong training camp at his new position. He suffered a shoulder injury in the Ravens' final preseason game against the Rams, however, slowing his progress as the regular season approached.
The Utah product has slowly been working back into action, and while he says he's seen limited reps in practice so far this season, he's gotten some praise from the coaching staff.
"The coaches have given me good feedback to just keep going hard and good things will happen," Kruger said. "I think that's always a good sign. I'm doing at least something right."
Kruger says he still has some "basic soreness" in his shoulder, but that there's no pain and he feels ready to play.
It sure looks like he'll be counted on against Pittsburgh this weekend. It's an opponent that Kruger had success against last year - he had a key interception in the Ravens' 20-17 overtime win over the Steelers last November.
"It's always a big game, and I'm excited to play, if I am," Kruger said. "I can't wait for Sunday, so we'll see what happens."