Ever since he went on injured reserve with a designation to return on Oct. 8 because of a toe injury, Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson has had one date in mind: Dec. 7.
That's the day that the Ravens play the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium and Jackson is eligible to return to game action.
"It gives you a date in mind, something to work toward," Jackson said Friday. "That's what I've been doing."
Jackson, 24, took part finished his first full week of practice and he remains optimistic that he'll be able to return for the Dolphins game.
"I'm hoping so," he said. "I'm just going to keep working and see what the coaches tell me and see what the trainers tell me and do whatever I can do in order to put myself in position to play starting next week. It's just going off what they tell me. That's all I can do."
Jackson started four of the first five games for the Ravens, registering 18 tackles with one pass defended. He got hurt on Oct. 5 against the Indianapolis Colts and since he's been gone, the secondary has undergone significant change.
With Jimmy Smith sustaining a season-ending toe injury, converted safety Anthony Levine has been starting at cornerback opposite Lardarius Webb. Recent acquisition Danny Gorrer has been used as a No.3 corner and Will Hill has displaced Matt Elam as the starting free safety.
Jackson is just looking forward to being back and having a role.
"You don't always realize how much you love something until you can't do it anymore. It feels great to be back out there even if it's just practice right now."