Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson has replaced his walking boot with football cleats, and returned to practice Friday for the first time since severely spraining his toe against the Indianapolis Colts.
Jackson remains on injured reserve-designated to return, but is eligible to be return to the active roster in time for the Ravens' Dec. 7 road game against the Miami Dolphins. Under NFL rules, Jackson had to miss at least six weeks of practice and can't play in a game until eight weeks after being placed on the reserve list.
"It's good to get back out on the field and run around a little bit," said Jackson, who was placed on injured reserve-designated to return on Oct. 8. "It was all good stuff, man. It felt good. Pain-free for the most part. Hopefully, I don't have any more setbacks and will be ready to go when my time is here.
"You got to knock a little bit of the rust off, but that's why I've got a couple of weeks of practice. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that and get back to the level that I was at before."
Jackson offered no predictions on whether he would definitely be ready for the Dolphins game, but the Ravens' overhauled secondary could use his help after losing top cornerback Jimmy Smith for the season with a Lisfranc foot injury that required surgery.
"We'll see, I hope so," Jackson said. "I'm going to keep pushing it and working for that. That's the goal."
Jackson got hurt against the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 5 during a loss at Lucas Oil Stadium. He recorded 19 tackles and one pass deflection in four starts this season prior to the injury.
Jackson could potentially emerge as a starter opposite Lardarius Webb when he's healthy enough to resume a full-time role. He could also operate as a nickel back, a role currently held by Danny Gorrer.
"I'm encouraged to see that," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I'm not sure how he looked. We didn't have him in too many of the main drills, so I'll have to watch the tape and talk to some of the guys that were working with him in the middle of some of the individual drills.
"It's good to see him out there. It's good to know he's basically been activated to prepare. The first opportunity for him to play will be against the Dolphins. We'll be hoping for that."