Although there's no live hitting in spring practices, that didn't stop Ravens defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore from manhandling rookie offensive tackles Saturday.
Lewis-Moore took on a bit more of an enthusiastic approach than most players would have for a rookie minicamp, which was understandable considering that he missed his entire rookie season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered as a Notre Dame senior.
Lewis-Moore was impressive in his mobility and power, displaying no hesitation while driving off the football despite wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired right knee.
"Oh man, I love it," said Lewis-Moore, who spent last season on the non-football injury list. "I feel great, glad to be back out there on the field. It's been a while.
"My knee's feeling good. I'm pretty much done with my rehab. My knee feels 100 percent now. I'm knocking that rust off because I haven't played football in a while."
Drafted in the sixth round last year, Lewis-Moore recorded 40 tackles, six sacks and two forced fumbles as a senior before hurting his knee in the BCS national title game against Alabama.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh noticed the progress Lewis-Moore has made since practicing for three weeks last season before the team opted not to activate him from the non-football injury list.
"Kapron looked good, no side effects from the knee that I could see," Harbaugh said. "Now when he starts to load it with double-teams and things like that, coming off of them, I think we'll see more. He's said he's had some soreness in his hips and his lower back and things like that, which is expected. Nothing in his knee, so that was good."
The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder is working to regain his old form that once had him rated as one of the better defensive linem prospects prior to his untimely injury.
"My technique is a little rusty," Lewis-Moore said. "I have to knock some rust off. It's awesome. You don't have to relearn too much. We're all football players and the game comes back to us pretty quick."
Lewis-Moore lined up at defensive end Saturday, but is slated to compete with Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan and DeAngelo Tyson for a starting job at Arthur Jones' old defensive tackle spot, a job vacancy created when Jones signed a $33 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts in March.
"It's going to be really competitive," Lewis-Moore said. "We don't know until training camp comes. My thing is just really take it one day at a time. I'm actually thankful to be out here with the rookies and be on the field again."