Massive Ravens nose guard Terrence Cody has been dealing with a nagging hip injury throughout the preseason.

It was regarded as serious enough that Cody underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam, which revealed that the problem was something that the Florida native was born with.

The 6-foot-4, 341-pounder has played through the injury and now declares that he has made a full recovery.

"I feel 100 percent," Cody said at his locker room stall. "We really couldn't tell until the MRI. They said it was a little minor thing. It feels a lot better now."

What's not a small matter for the former second-round draft pick from Alabama is whether he'll start Monday night when the Ravens open the regular season against the Cincinnati Bengals.

After starting every game last season and recording a career-high 34 tackles for the NFL's third-ranked defense, Cody has seemingly lost ground to veteran defensive lineman Ma'ake Kemoeatu.

Although Cody is still listed as first on the depth chart, a resurgent Kemoeatu, who was out of football last year after getting up to a hefty 400 pounds, started during the preseason. Kemoeatu had five tackles, one for a loss during the preseason as Cody finished with four tackles and one pass deflection.

"We really don't know right now," Cody said. "I'll know a lot closer to game time what the playing time will be or if I'm up or starting or not.

Cody acknowledged that he would be disappointed if he loses his starting job and suggested that the coaching staff may be trying to use the carrot of starting to push him to perform.

"It will be, but, either way it goes, I'm still playing and it can change up later on during the year and I can get my spot back," Cody said. "I feel like it was a motivational thing to help me really focus in on what I got to do to lock in more."

awilson@baltsun.com