The day of celebration has come! Early this morning, cornerback Lardarius Webb (left) was taken off the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, and passed his conditioning test with ease. After tearing his ACL in Week 15 against the Chicago Bears, Webb has traveled down the long, winding road of recovery and has finally arrived at the destination.
More information about the injury and what Webb brings back to the Ravens’ secondary after the jump.
This news couldn’t really have come at a better time. Actually, it could have come at a much better time, that time being the beginning of training camp. Because of a torn ACL that will keep Domonique Foxworth out for the season, and the inability on Walt Harris’ part to break back into the NFL, the Ravens’ already weak secondary is now resting its hopes on Webb and fellow ACL-tearer Fabian Washington to be the top cornerbacks.
Webb was a two-time All-American at Nicholls State as a safety at he Division I-AA level, but his transition to cornerback in the NFL seemed to be an easy one last season. Showing great comfort covering elite receivers and blossoming into a stellar weapon in the return game, Webb quickly became a fan favorite in Baltimore. As he became a dark horse candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year, Webb’s season was horribly ended by the injury.
This year, if he does manage to be healthy enough to play by the time the season opens, Webb will probably start alongside Fabian Washington and will immediately strengthen the Ravens’ cornerback corps. When Cary Williams returns from suspension, Webb could be moved to his regular #3 role, but in all likelihood, Williams (or even Washington) will be placed behind the second-year standout on the depth chart.
As the Ravens’ secondary begins to take some form, with names becoming recognizable and seeing who’s doing well and who’s not, the return of Webb will not only be big for the secondary, but will be a huge addition for the entire team. When the defense is a team’s biggest strength, they expect to have their best players playing well. When their top cornerback (Foxworth) is out for the season, their #1 draft pick (Sergio Kindle) has been in the hospital for the duration of training camp, and their All-World superstar (Ed Reed) will be out for almost half the season, a team can be extremely hurt mentally by that. The return of Lardarius Webb, without even remembering that he’s only had one season of NFL experience and that he’s probably only 80% recovered, is a huge boost for a team and their fans that’s been looking for one for the past few weeks.