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OWINGS MILLS - Ravens top cornerback Lardarius Webb didn't appear to be limited by his surgically-repaired knee when he took the field against the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago, and it doesn't appear Baltimore has any reservations regarding the knee going into Thursday's regular season opener against the Denver Broncos.
"I think he's absolutely ready to go," Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said of Webb Monday. "I think he's ready to play."
It's not like that should come as a surprise.
Baltimore has been optimistic regarding Webb's availability for the season-opener since the spring.
Webb tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in October, but the Ravens consistently said during the spring that Webb was ahead of schedule in his recovery, and Baltimore progressively increased Webb's workload this summer.
"Teryl Austin has done a really good job as our secondary coach of kind of bringing him back not too fast," Pees said. "We didn't really kill him at the beginning of camp.
"We just kind of brought him back slowly ... and gained a little more each week."
The primary question at this point is how long it will take Webb to work back to his pre-injury form.
Before the injury, Webb was one of the NFL's top cornerbacks, and he showed flashes of his playmaking ability during the summer, but he was admittedly rusty against the Panthers in his first actual game action since injuring his knee in October.
"I felt great ... [but] I have to improve on some things and get back used to some things - just feeling out routes and stuff, " Webb said. "But I'm coming along fine. I can't wait to get back to work."
Thursday will certainly test Webb, though, with Baltimore going up against Peyton Manning and arguably the most talented group of wide receivers in the NFL.
But regardless of how the game goes, the Ravens are happy just to have their top cornerback back into the mix less than a year after tearing his ACL.
"I just can't wait to touch my foot on the field," Webb said.

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