It was only Practice No. 1 of training camp, before most veterans have even reported, but there was an encouraging sign at the Ravens' Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills on Tuesday: Cornerback Lardarius Webb was on the field, the surest sign yet that his recovery from a torn ACL last season is coming along as the team had hoped.
Webb was limited, but he did take part in several drills during the team's 70-minute workout, which was for rookies, quarterbacks and players returning from injury. Veterans report to the Ravens complex tomorrow, and the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Thursday.
Coach John Harbaugh said Webb will not be placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
"Lardarius is practicing," Harbaugh said. "We will bring him along as we see fit, but you saw him out there today, so he's doing well."
Webb spent some time working individually, did some backpedaling and other agility drills and also took a few reps in 11-on-11 drills. He also chatted up the rookie defensive backs on the sideline. Webb, entering his fifth season with the Ravens, is expected to be one of the leaders of a defense that has been extensively rebuilt and has lost longtime leaders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
Webb, 27, missed the final 10 regular-season games and the playoffs after sustaining a torn ACL against Dallas. It was his second torn ACL in four seasons.
In 2011, Webb started 15 games and finished with 68 tackles and a team-high five interceptions. He signed a new six-year, $50 million deal after that season and was expected to be an anchor of the secondary last season before going down with the season-ending injury.
If healthy, Webb figures to start at one corner, with Jimmy Smith and Corey Graham competing for the other starting cornerback spot.