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Ravens rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan returns following arthroscopic knee surgery

Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.
Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun)

Ravens rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan remains on the mend following recent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a meniscus injury.

The second-round draft pick from Florida State returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since getting hurt on Sept. 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He appeared to be moving carefully during drills.

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"It felt good to get back out there and be back around the guys and get my feet wet," Jernigan told The Baltimore Sun. "It's a matter of keeping on progressing and hopefully getting back on the field as soon as possible."

Jernigan downplayed the severity of the injury, characterizing it as minor. However, it sidelined him for four games and he's not a lock to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

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"No more surgeries," Jernigan said when asked if he thinks he'll require more procedures after the season.

This marked the longest time Jernigan has been sidelined since he started playing football.

"It was rough," he said. "At the same time, the coaches did a great job of keeping me around everybody and keeping my spirit up."

In two games this season, Jernigan has recorded three tackles.

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An All-American selection for the national champion Seminoles, Jernigan recorded 63 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season before declaring early for the NFL draft. He was signed to a four-year, $4.382 million contract that includes $2.126 million guaranteed and a $1.507 million signing bonus.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound tackle runs the 40-yard dash in 4.97 seconds and has bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times. At Florida State, he had 139 tackles including 25 for losses and 8.5 sacks.

Whether Jernigan will play on Sunday remains undetermined, but there's a shot he will play, especially with defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi not practicing due to an ankle injury.

"It could come down to a confidence thing," Jernigan said. "It's a confidence factor and making sure we do things the right way between now and Sunday in terms of treatment and rest."

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