Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody could only watch from the sideline over the past month as the Ravens run defense was punished by the Bills, Packers and Steelers. But now fresh off a bye week that gave Cody an extra week to recover from a sprained knee, Cody said, "I'm ready to get back out there. The knee's been doing great. Haven't had any issues with it the past couple weeks."
The bye week "came at the right time for me, because I could finish strengthening up the knee and get my knee back healthy and get back on the field and help the guys."
Cody was a full practice participant each of the past two days as the Ravens prepare to face Cleveland on Sunday. He hasn't played since sustaining the knee injury in Week 3 against Houston.
The 2013 season is a pivotal one for Cody, who is set to hit free agency after the season. The former second-round pick out of Alabama had been coming off a strong training camp as he tried to erase a disappointing 2012 season. Cody lost his starting job last season to Ma'ake Kemoeatu, but he revealed after the season that he had been bothered by a hip injury all season that ultimately required offseason surgery.
Much was made of the Ravens deeper, remade defensive front this offseason, but the Bills reeled off more than 200 rushing yards against the Ravens, and the Packers and Steelers each topped 140. Cody missed all those games, but now he expects to be back in the rotation as the Ravens try to stop Cleveland and Willis McGahee.
And adding a healthy Cody to the equation can only help, defensive coordinator Dean Pees said.
"It always helps depth up there in the inside, especially if we’re playing a game where we’re playing a lot of base defense," Pees said. The more "you can roll those defensive linemen," he said, the fresher they can stay for the entire game. "What you don’t want to do is get worn down in the fourth quarter, and then you can’t stop them because you’re doggone tired."