Speaking for the first time since suffering a spinal cord contusion on Dec. 9, inside linebacker Jameel McClain said he is feeling better.
"I feel good," he said prior to Wednesday's practice. "… Now we're just resting like always, resting right now and trying to recover completely. But if you ask me, I could go tackle someone right now. But it's not in my hands."
McClain sustained the injury while trying to tackle Washington Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris late in the third quarter of the Ravens' eventual 31-28 overtime loss. McClain missed the team's next game against the Denver Broncos before getting placed on injured reserve on Dec. 22.
Despite his improved condition, McClain said he understands why the team's medical staff recommended that he sit out the remainder of the season.
"I guess [there are] some things you've got to be careful with," said McClain, who ranked second on the team in tackles prior to his injury. "And doctors are doctors and football players are football players. But I'm doing what they tell me to do, and I'm on my road."
At this time, McClain said surgery is not an option that he is considering in the offseason.
"Just resting," he said of his plans. "Rest is what I need, rest is what I'm going to do. That's what's been recommended. So that's where I'm going with it."
McClain's recovery figures to loom significantly with 13-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis announcing Wednesday that he will retire at season's end. McClain and Dannell Ellerbe are poised to be the starting inside linebackers when the Ravens open the 2013 season, and their health and effectiveness could determine whether the defense can regain its reputation as a top-10 unit.
McClain said he intends to be ready for the organization's offseason workouts.
"That's the idea," he said of participating in the team's minicamps in May and June. "I believe that."