Buried in our Ravens notebook in Tuesday's paper was a nugget about Sergio Kindle getting the green light to play in Thursday's preseason game against the Eagles. That's right, Kindle is finally making his Ravens debut.
Kindle has been practicing with the team since the start of training camp, so there is nothing surprising about this revelation -- that’s why it didn’t get a bigger headline -- but new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano confirming Monday that the outside linebacker will play Thursday is exciting news for the Ravens.
The Ravens’ top draft pick in 2010 -- he was a second-rounder, of course -- missed all of last season after he suffered a fractured skull in an off-the-field accident before training camp. There were whispers that Kindle might not be able to play football again, but he was cleared for contact practices this spring.
I said then to keep expectations low, but with each hurdle Kindle clears, they are sure to rise. The Ravens drafted Kindle in the hopes he would be a wingman for Terrell Suggs, something the team didn’t address in April’s draft or in free agency.
"We want to get him out there, put him on the edge and let him go," Pagano said of his plans for the young pass rusher.
For a handful of plays Thursday, we’ll get a glimpse of what Kindle can do. Preseason games are meaningless to most of us, but you can be sure this one is going to mean a lot to Kindle.
Thursday's game is just the latest hurdle in Kindle’s comeback, but once it is cleared, he will be one step closer to contributing.
Your turn: What’s your best-case scenario for Kindle in 2011?