As his Ravens teammates padded up and saw their workload — and the intensity of training camp — increase, starting right tackle Rick Wagner went the opposite direction.
Wagner frequently tagged in reserve Jah Reid as the contact increased during Saturday and Sunday's full-pads practices, part of a plan to ease him back from a season-ending Lisfranc foot sprain suffered in the Week 16 loss to the Houston Texans last season and subsequent surgery.
"That's what I thought it was going to be this first week," Wagner said Monday after the team's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium. "The way we practice, you're going to get your reps throughout the month, so the first two days, I basically did everything and I've kind of been resting [since]."
The 2013 fifth-round NFL draft pick assumed the starting right tackle job last offseason, and was part of a standout offensive line group in 2014. His injury, combined with starting left tackle Eugene Monroe's ankle injury, forced a wholesale reshuffle of the offensive line as the team made its playoff run.
Wagner's return to football came on the first day of camp, and he participated more than he had the previous two days in front of an announced 22,111 home fans at M&T Bank Stadium. He anticipates a quick end to his injury-forced timeshare with Reid, who has performed well so far this camp, as well.
"With the off-day [Tuesday], hopefully I come back Wednesday and my foot feels better and I can do the whole thing," he said. "We'll see how it goes. It's just an injury that needs some rest, and especially when you're introducing football to it for the first time. I have a lot of confidence that I'm going to be fine by the end of the month."
He was buoyed on Monday by being out in front of the fans, away from the afternoon heat on the fields behind the Under Armour Performance Center.
"I felt great tonight," Wagner said. "I had a few plays tonight. It definitely [helps]. We practice really hard out there. To come out here with the lights on, it kind of gives you a lot more excitement to keep going through camp."