Ayanbadejo looks toward training camp

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo is still facing a long road back to recover fully from a torn quadriceps tendon suffered last season. The three-time Pro Bowl selection and reserve inside linebacker is still experiencing pain in his left leg, but is confidently targeting training camp for his return.

"I still have a lot of pain, an unusual amount of pain," Ayanbadejo said during the Ravens' weekend minicamp. "With that being said, I still get better every week. I think they're probably hoping I'd be further along than I am. I still expect to be ready by training camp in August, and that's when they expected me to be ready."

Ayanbadejo was scheduled to undergo a followup visit with his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday.

Ayanbadejo was making a significant contribution in the Ravens' nickel package when he injured his leg against the New England Patriots, ending his season.

He tore up his leg while tackling running back Sammy Morris by the sideline.

Ayanbadejo was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week following the third game of the season against the Cleveland Browns, registering a sack, an interception and six tackles.

Ayanbadejo's durability had been impressive, appearing in 100 consecutive NFL games before the injury last season at Gillette Stadium.

"I never missed a game in college, high school, nothing," Ayanbadejo said. "Never missed a game in my career, so the first game I missed was last year and I don't plan on missing anymore."

NOTES: Following a successful tryout last weekend, veteran cornerback Travis Fisher has been invited to the Ravens' next organized team activity.

Fisher hasn't been signed to a contract yet, but has been told that's in the offing.

"They invited me back and said we'll work something out," Fisher told the Times on Tuesday from his home in Miami. "I'm sure we'll get the paperwork done soon. They already gave me a plane ticket to come back to Baltimore for the next camp."

Fisher drew praise from Ravens coach John Harbaugh following minicamp.

The former St. Louis Rams second-round draft pick tried out for the Ravens before the playoffs last season, but injured his hamstring during the workout.

Fisher, 30, has intercepted nine career passes with 32 pass deflections.

"The Ravens are a great new opportunity," Fisher said. "It's my kind of defense. I've still got a lot of football left in me. I can still run and am still fast and I've got no injuries.

"I want to be on this team. I'm looking for that Super Bowl ring. The Ravens have a great defense and I want to be a part of it."

"Ray Lewis Way" was unveiled Tuesday afternoon at the corner of North Avenue and Broadway in Baltimore.

The All-Pro middle linebacker and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year was honored at a ceremony attended by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Harbaugh.

"If Ray Lewis Way does nothing else, just look up instead of looking down," Lewis told reporters. "If the street does nothing else but make you look up in life and say he did it differently, let that be the goal. .. Baltimore, I love you with every inch of my soul."


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