Ravens receiver Aaron Mellette

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Aaron Mellette celebrates his touchdown reception with quarterback Tyrod Taylor. (DOUG KAPUSTIN / MCT / August 15, 2013)

It will be a relatively long time until Ravens rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette plays football again.

On injured reserve after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to address cartilage damage, the seventh-round draft pick from Elon is about to get off crutches and is looking toward the offseason, when he'll be able to take part in the Ravens' conditioning program, organized team activities and minicamps.

"I could have had surgery as soon as the season ends, but then I would have been out another eight weeks and missed most of the phases we go through and miss some of the offseason because I would have still been recovering and trying to get back to full strength," Mellette said. "So, now I got a chance to be healed up fully by December and have a chance to focus for next season and come back full strength. They cleaned it out and it's going to be a lot better now."

During the preseason, Mellette displayed potential as the 6 foot 2, 217-pounder caught nine passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Aside from his rehabilitation schedule, the most difficult thing for Mellette has been having to watch after an uninterrupted run of success at Elon as an All-Southern Conference wide receiver who finished his career with 304 receptions, 4,254 yards and 44 touchdowns.

"This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, watching from the sidelines or at home on television," Mellette said. "I"m just glad I didn't tear any ligaments. I'm happy about that. It's a totally different ballgame."

awilson@baltsun.com

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