It was a doubly difficult offseason for Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody following a disappointing season last year.
Cody disclosed Sunday that he underwent elbow surgery in addition to a previously known hip surgery. Just weeks before training camp, Cody didn't think he would be ready for the first practice sessions.
Cody, however, has practiced every day without restrictions after not practicing at all during the offseason.
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"Yeah, I had the elbow surgery and that's pretty much why I didn't think I was going to be ready," Cody said. "I got that cleared by doctors and, shoot, I felt good. Each practice, I'm getting better and better. The technique is a little rusty, but each day getting better and better at the little things. I had a long offseason, but I was able to work besides rehabbing, working on other things I needed to work on. I can feel it out there at practice."
Although Cody is able to practice, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has seen the majority of the work with the first-team defense at nose tackle.
Cody is coming off a rough season, where he started only three games and fell to 25 tackles, no sacks, no forced fumbles and no fumble recoveries with one pass deflection. He was replaced in the starting lineup by veteran Ma'ake Kemoeatu.
Cody had started every game the previous season and had a career-high 34 tackles. He graded out for last season with a minus-6.5, according to Pro Football Focus, which gave Cody the lowest grade among the Ravens' defensive linemen.
"I feel like it's competition," Cody said. "It's not winning it back. It's letting them know I can play and can start on the defense and I'm not done. I'm working hard every day, every practice. I'm trying to get back out there."
Cody, a 2010 second-round draft pick from Alabama, is entering the final year of his $3.064 million rookie contract. His future in Baltimore is up in the air.
"I feel like I really want to play for the Ravens as long as I can," Cody said. "If it's my time to go, it's my time go. It's business. That's the only hard thing about it is it's a business and it's tough decisions."
Cody is sporting a short haircut after wearing long dreadlocks in the past.
"When we all reported back, I cut it," he said. "I felt like new year, new look."