For Ravens veteran wide receiver Brandon Stokley, it's been an extremely difficult season, but his health is finally starting to come around.
The 34-year-old missed the past seven games with a groin injury he aggravated after initially getting hurt in the first month of the season. Stokley is still listed on the injury report, but has been participating fully.
"Yeah, I'm feeling a lot better," Stokley said. "It's good to be out there practicing the guys, definitely feeling a lot better. It takes a long time to heal. I probably could have been smarter with it.
"I blame myself for trying to rush it back too soon, but that's just the nature of the game. You don't have many games in a season and now I'm feeling a lot better and I'm looking forward to competing and getting some wins."
Stokley was inactive again Sunday during a 23-20 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears.
"I'm just happy to be back healthy," said Stokley, who wasn't on the roster for one game against the Miami Dolphins before being re-signed. "Whatever the coaches decide, that's kind of not my job. My job is to go out there and perform and be ready when my number is called."
Stokley has caught nine passes for 79 yards after being signed to a one-year, $1.005 million contract in August. For his career, Stokley has 393 receptions for 5,303 yards and 39 touchdowns.
Sure-handed and reliable, Stokley caught a touchdown pass in the Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV victory over the New York Giants. He's been a consummate slot receiver for 15 NFL seasons, including catching 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns last season for the Denver Broncos and a career-high 68 receptions for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2004 season with the Indianapolis Colts.
"I've seen it all, been there, done it," Stokley said. "For myself, I just try to get better and help this team out. That's what I've been trying to do. As hard as it is when you're hurt, it's very difficult, especially in my situation.
"The team has been great, the coaches have been great. They've been behind me. I really appreciate that. I'm looking forward to doing whatever I can to hopefully get some wins."