Holding court in the Ravens' locker room Wednesday afternoon, nose tackle Terrence Cody kept smiling.
It was immediately after his first practice in more than a year after undergoing offseason surgery to repair damage to his right hip.
"Yeah, man, it felt like Christmas," Cody said. "It felt like waking up and finding a new bike and going outside to ride your new bike.
"The guys were joking on me for being skinny. They said, 'Now, he's all serious.' I'm still the same guy. The guys were excited for me to get back out there."
Cody remains on the reserve-physically unable to perform list. Under NFL rules, he has to be placed on the active roster within the next three weeks or spend the remainder of the season on the reserve PUP list.
Cody said he thinks he could be ready as soon as Sunday for the Ravens' game against the Atlanta Falcons, but it's more likely he'll be held out until he gets into optimal condition. A 2010 second-round draft pick and a former consensus All-American from Alabama, Cody has 87 tackles in four NFL seasons with no sacks or forced fumbles.
"Yeah, man, if they need me, I'm ready," said Cody, who signed a one-year, $730,000 contract in March. "I feel good. Now, it's just more of me getting into football shape and getting my technique back. It's just like riding a bike. It all comes back after a while once you get back out there."