Nearly six weeks after breaking his left foot in the Ravens' preseason game against the Giants, wide receiver Donte' Stallworth is walking around without a limp and is working towards a return to the practice field.
That return still won't come for a few weeks, however, as the veteran wide receiver said he's targeting a return around the Ravens' bye week, which comes Week 8.
"That was the initial target, so I'm thinking that can remain where we're shooting for," Stallworth said today.
Stallworth had a screw inserted in his foot during surgery and was on crutches for a couple weeks after suffering the injury, but he ditched the crutches a few weeks ago, and has been able to start rehabbing at the Ravens' facility.
"I feel like it's coming along pretty good," Stallworth said. "I think I'm ahead of schedule, just as far as soreness and being able to put pressure on it and things like that. Really just been working it and trying to get back into the swing of things. Things will be phased in incrementally, with me being able to start off with jogging and putting more pressure on it and then eventually running and cutting. As for where I am right now, I feel good and I feel like I'm making progress."
At this point, Stallworth has been able to do some jogging on a special treadmill at the Ravens' facility which allows you limit the percentage of your body weight that you're carrying while running. He says he's been going at 50 percent of his body weight, but has been jogging at a really high speed.
Stallworth has also been getting treatment for the foot by spending time in an oxygen chamber, and he's continuing to get acupuncture, something which was recommended by Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey, who had a similar injury.
"Terrifying. It's terrifying," Stallworth said of the acupuncture. "I'm afraid of needles. I hate 'em, but it's something I've got to do. Something that I'm not happy with, but if it's going to help me get back on the field faster, then I'll do it.
"I think that everything I've been doing has been helping me out, so I'm looking forward to possibly getting back out there as soon as I can."
It's unclear at this point what role Stallworth will have waiting for him when he does return. It's been tough enough for the Ravens to keep their top three wide receivers, Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, all happy with their part in the offense, and Stallworth's presence could only complicate things more.
For his part, Stallworth says he isn't worried about the number of touches he'll get or what part he'll play in the offense. He says his goal at this point is just getting back on the field.
"I've always been told never worry about things you can't control," Stallworth said. "My main focus right now is just making sure that I can get back, and when I am back, being as healthy as I can to help this team with whatever they need me. Going down the field, being a deep threat, whatever else they need me to do. I'll try to make sure that when I'm back, I can do that and do it to the best of my abilities."