Webb "can't wait" to return to action at Denver

Webb "can't wait" to return to action at Denver
September 2, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Lardarius Webb talks about coming back from ACL tear

It's been a long road back -- again -- for Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb.

Webb, coming off his second second ACL injury in four seasons, has spent months recovering from the injury, suffered against Dallas in Week 6 last season. But all indications are Webb will be ready to go for the season-opener on Thursday night when the Ravens face Denver.

"I feel good," Webb said on Monday as the Ravens continued preparations for facing Peyton Manning and the Broncos, "excited to be back on the field with the guys."

Webb played briefly in the third preseason against Carolina as the Ravens eased Webb back to action, and defensive coordinator Dean Pees said on Monday that Webb should "absolutely be ready to go" against the Broncos.

Pees credited secondary coach Teryl Austin with pacing Webb's recovery, saying Austin did "a real good job of bringing him back not too fast. We didn't really kill him at the beginning of camp. ... We just kind of brought him back slowly, and each time gained a little more each week. ... Our staff did a good job of getting him ready."

Webb said he "felt great" in his first limited game action against the Panthers, but acknowledged he did have a little rust to shake off."I think I have to improve on some things, get used to some things, filling out routes and stuff, but I'm coming along fine."

Webb, 28, figures to start at one corner, with Corey Graham on the other side. Webb had emerged as a top cornerback two years ago, showing excellent coverage skills and tackling ability in run support. He finished the 2011 season with 68 tackles and a team-high five interceptions in his first year as starter, and he parlayed that into a six-year, $50 million deal signed in April 2012. With Ed Reed gone, Webb, in his fifth season, is the longest-tenured Raven in the secondary group.

Webb was originally a third-round draft pick by the Ravens out of Nicholls State in 2009. But he missed the last two games of the his rookie season and the playoffs that year after tearing an ACL in December that season. Now having been through his second major knee recovery, Webb says he itching to get back on the field.

"Knowing all the hard work I put myself through, I miss it to the fullest," he said on Monday. "I just can't wait to touch my foot on that field."