Ravens' Baxter back from hernia

WESTMINSTER -- Baltimore Ravens cornerback Gary Baxter proclaimed himself nearly fully recovered from abdominal hernia surgery, and he expects to join the team on the field at McDaniel College for this morning's opening practice.

"I'm feeling great," said Baxter, who was held out of minicamp drills as a precautionary measure. "I still have to break some scar tissue, but I'm about 90 to 95 percent. "I'm just going to be cautious about it, but I've been running on it and feel great. I think I'm even faster right now."

Meanwhile, Ravens coach Brian Billick said he remains optimistic that Pro Bowl outside linebacker Peter Boulware can recover from knee surgery in time to act as a situational pass rusher for the team during the early portion of the season.

Billick said he envisions a 30-snaps per game scenario for Boulware once his knee improves. Billick said he expects only Boulware and quarterback Anthony Wright (shoulder) to be immediate candidates for the physically unable to perform list.

Tight end Trent Smith, who suffered a broken left leg last August that still has a metal rod to aid the healing process, said he'll likely be held out of team drills for the first few days of practice.

"They want to make sure nothing flares up," Smith said. "The leg is still a little bit weaker than my right leg, so we want to make sure that doesn't create a problem because it's not as strong."

MOORE SIGNS: Rookie wide receiver Clarence Moore, a 6-foot-6 sixth-round selection, became the Ravens' final draft pick to agree to terms. Moore signed a three-year contract worth nearly $970,000 in time to report to the team's 5 p.m. meeting.

QUOTABLE: Billick on second-year quarterback Kyle Boller: "Clearly, there's still going to be a learning curve for Kyle, but he's a quick study. There's no ambiguity about who our quarterback is like last year."

QUICK HITS: Punter Dave Zastudil has bulked up to 220 pounds. … Pro Bowl running back Jamal Lewis appears noticeably lighter than he was at minicamp.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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