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Encouraging signs for Lardarius Webb's return

Ravens starting cornerback Lardarius Webb has made a sound recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered last October against the Dallas Cowboys.

Webb has reached the point where he's participating in a greater workload as far as team drills and engaging in more and more contact.

Webb's surgically-repaired knee looks strong after the procedure last October from Dr. James Andrews. He's able to smoothly backpedal, plant, cut, accelerate and hit.

Barring a last-minute change of heart, the Ravens are considered likely to have Webb make his preseason debut Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers. Webb has been preparing for that possibility and has gained confidence in his knee throughout the past month.

It remains unclear precisely how much action Webb might see, but this is regarded as the last time the Ravens would even consider playing Webb as starters generally don't participate in the preseason finale since it's so close to the regular season.

Secondary coach Teryl Austin is encouraged by Webb's progress.

"It’s good," Austin said. "We’ve brought ‘Webby’ along slowly. We want to make sure we work him in, not do anything too fast for him. But he’s participated fully the last few days, and we feel good about him.

"It’s not the full amount of reps, but he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do. I would anticipate that, barring any setbacks, I’m hopeful that he’ll be ready that first game, for sure.”

awilson@baltsun.com

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