Six months after he suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury, top Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was back at practice Wednesday morning.

After missing the first day of mandatory minicamp, Smith participated in individual drills, offering hope that he’ll be ready for the start of training camp next month. Smith was expected to miss six to eight months after leaving the team’s Dec. 3 game against the Detroit Lions.


“I'm sure everyone was surprised,” safety Eric Weddle said Wednesday. “I don't know if Jimmy's like half-Wolverine, but the dude is, like, healed up [in] half the time than normal, regular human beings with an Achilles. But he's worked extremely hard. I've been in here since after the Pro Bowl every week, and he's been in here rehabbing, and the medical staff's done a great job. So it was nice to see him out here doing backpedaling and just be a part of the team.”

Smith’s seventh season with the team was one of his best. According to Pro Football Focus, he was allowing a quarterback rating of only 49.2 when targeted last year, third lowest among the 86 qualifying cornerbacks at the time of his injury. For the season, he started 12 games and had three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He also returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Smith did not speak to reporters after practice, but defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said the 29-year-old is “right on schedule.”

“What the schedule is, I don't know,” he joked. “But he's on it.”

A day after Smith’s injury, the NFL announced he had been suspended for performance-enhancing-drug use. He had been appealing the ruling but dropped the appeal after the injury and served it over the last four games of the season.

For one female football coach, a day at Ravens minicamp to remember (and study)

Erica Vinson-Ondecko emailed Ravens specialists coach Randy Brown a couple of weeks ago. On Tuesday, she was by his side at practice.

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