After injuries forced him to miss the beginning of his 2016 campaign, Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil got his first start of the season in Sunday's 38-6 win over he Miami Dolphins.
While that might be considered a sign of progress from a foot ailment related to offseason surgery, Dumervil said he is not concerned whether he or Albert McClellan is the starter at the defense's SAM (strong-side linebacker) position.
"I'm beyond that stage," he said after Thursday's practice. "This is year 11 for me, and all I care about is making plays and trying to help the team so that we can get to the Super Bowl, not who starts and all that. Even when I was a full-time starter in Denver, it was always about the guys who could make an impact. I knew guys who didn't start but made a big impact in the game. For this defense and the kind of guys that we have, that's the last thing on our minds."
The 32-year-old Dumervil, who made one tackle against Miami, is more focused on the strength in his foot, which sidelined him for eight games. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said it was evident that the Dumervil who attempted to return after sitting out the first three games was not ready.
"I kind of knew this time was going to look a lot different just because he knew he wasn't ready after he went out there the first time," Pees said. "He was not going to come back until he knew that he really could produce something on the field. To see him go out and play the way he's played has been great."
In perhaps the strongest indication of his health, Dumervil has played in 62.8 percent of the defensive snaps in the past two games without suffering a setback. He's looking forward to when he won't have to address questions about his foot.
"This is only game two for me, and I'm in a lot better health," he said. "But I've still got a ways to go. I've still got a lot of things I can still get better at, and it's all about just keep getting better."