Hymes, Hunter back on the field

OWINGS MILLS – Wide receivers Javin Hunter and Randy Hymes had designs on emerging as key contributors to the Baltimore Ravens last season.<br> <br> Instead, both players missed the entire season due to preseason injuries.&nbsp;<br>

Hunter ruptured his Achilles' tendon and Hymes tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

Healthy again after rehabilitating for months, both players participated during the Ravens' first day of a four-day passing camp.

"I'm close to full speed," Hunter said. "I have a lot of talent, but have yet to show it. It's time for me now and I feel ready."

Returning receivers like Hunter, Hymes, Ron Johnson and Kareem Kelly are fighting for roster spots after the additions of Kevin Johnson, Devard Darling, Clarence Moore and return specialist Derek Abney.

"They've worked very hard," Ravens coach Brian Billick said of Hunter and Hymes. "They look like they're in pretty good shape and you don't see any subtle influences of the injury, which is good this early."
Tight end Trent Smith, who broke his leg last August, is still limited and didn't take part in the majority of the drills. He said he still has a metal rod in his leg after undergoing surgery last year, but expects to be full-go by training camp.

ABSENT: The most prominent Ravens to be excused from the voluntary camp were linebackers Ray Lewis and Peter Boulware, running back Jamal Lewis, cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Corey Fuller and safety Ed Reed.

The team has one mandatory camp in June, which Billick said he expects Jamal Lewis to attend. Lewis has been indicted to federal drug conspiracy charges and has plead not guilty. No court date has been set yet.

"Particularly given Jamal's circumstance, we've talked with Jamal and this is not something that his presence was needed," Billick said.

Cornerback Gary Baxter was at the team's training complex, but didn't take part as he is still recovering from hernia surgery. Also, backup quarterback Anthony Wright sat out with a sore triceps.

"In these situations, you don't want to aggravate something," Billick said.

QUOTABLE: Billick on Darling, the team's third-round draft pick from Washington State: "He's a phenomenal athlete. It's going to be exciting to watch him progress."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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