Fabian Washington's knee passing tests

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington got kicked in his knee by Anquan Boldin while covering the Pro Bowl wide receiver. Specifically, it was his surgically-repaired left knee.

"It held up great," said Washington while displaying small cuts on his upper shin. "That was nice to know. He was coming out of a break and his leg camp up and kicked me, and I just kept playing. I didn't even think twice. So, I'm glad that it held up."

Sidelined since last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last November, Washington passed his physical last week and was activated from the physically unable to perform list.

Although he's technically not cleared for contact, Washington is no longer wearing a red jersey that signifies he's off-limits to hitting. It was Washington's call to take off the red jersey, but he was advised by coach John Harbaugh and trainer Bill Tessendorf to be cautious.

"That was my decision," Washington said. "That red jersey is distracting to me and it's distracting to the other players. It's just a situation where you've got to be smart. Guys know that they can't hit me and I'm not going to hit the other guys. On a deep ball, let him catch it. "That's what's going to happen. It's just a situation where that red jersey says, ‘Stop.' When you're out there playing football, you don't realize that you have on that red jersey. You just play football. So, I just took it off." Washington called his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, an All-Pro.

He hasn't experienced any pain or swelling.

"Everything is responding fantastic," Washington said. "I couldn't be more happier. I'm flying around and it feels great."

Washington would like to play in the Ravens' first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 12.

"It's all up to coach," he said. "I think I'm ready to play, but if he tells me, ‘No,' then it's no. I want to be ready for the first regular-season game."

SUGGS EATING HEALTHIER: A year ago, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs tipped the scales at 283 pounds.

It was too heavy and the three-time Pro Bowl defender had a career-worst season with four sacks.

Now, he's 20 pounds lighter.

Suggs has been cutting out junk food, including fried chicken and an old bad habit of eating entire boxes of cookies in one sitting and chowing down on a large pizza.

Suggs changed his diet with the help of team nutritionist Sue James.

"It wasn't just Popeye's, it was also Kentucky Fried Chicken," Suggs said. "It was also the cookies. You know, I did like the cookies. It was kind of a reward. When I started getting the weight down and I reached a certain goal it was like, ‘OK, you can have a cookie.' She did a good job helping me, especially down the stretch."

Suggs is noticeably quicker and leaner this year, playing at roughly 263 pounds. Last year, he dealt with a heel injury and sprained his knee during the season on an illegal block from quarterback Brady Quinn.

Signed to a six-year, $62.5 million contract last year, he would like even lose a few more pounds to get back his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year form.

"What a difference a year makes," Suggs said. "You know, last year I didn't get the luxury of participating in training camp. Therefore, I didn't get to play at my desired weight. But, this year I'm taking the full-fledged advantage of it, and I feel good. I feel really good."

ANOTHER FIGHT: In the most heated exchange of training camp, defensive end Paul Kruger and offensive tackle Joe Reitz got into a short brawl. First, Reitz tried to punch Kruger. Then, Reitz, a former college basketball player, hip-tossed Kruger to the ground.

Several players jumped on top of the combatants and separated them.

"That comes with practicing," Kruger said. "Everybody gets riled up every once in a while. Basically, everybody jumps in and you don't have time to do much damage."

DUTCH DEBUT: Cornerback Doug Dutch went through his first practice with the Ravens since being acquired via a trade from the Washington Redskins in exchange for quarterback John Beck.

"I didn't have to go far," said Dutch, a Washington native who played collegiately at Michigan. "It's a blessing in disguise to come here, a great opportunity to compete and win. It's a great time to shine now. I come to compete hard. I'm fast.

"I can use my talents and come up in run support and play hard. It's very flattering. You always want to be wanted. I come in here with all eyes on me."

At times, Dutch got picked on Tuesday morning by Boldin and Derrick Mason. Ravens coach John Harbaugh discussed the trade for the first time Tuesday.

"I think John's excited about the fact that he's going to go there and have a chance to really do well," Harbaugh said. "For us, it was a situation where we needed a little help at corner. Plus, we've got our top two quarterbacks pretty well set up.

"Doug, we'll just see what he does. We've heard good things about him. He looked good and we'll just take it day by day."

INJURY REPORT: Not practicing: cornerbacks Chris Carr (lower back) and K.J. Gerard (hamstring), tight end Davon Drew (hamstring) and offensive tackle Tony Moll (undisclosed).

The following players remain on the physically unable to perform list: safety Ed Reed (hip), center Matt Birk (elbow), linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps), cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee), running back Matt Lawrence (knee) and offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (throat).

GOODELL VISITING TODAY: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will visit McDaniel College today before visiting the Washington Redskins. He'll arrive with Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden, continuing their tour of NFL camps.

Goodell is slated to talk with reporters as well as a group of Ravens season-ticket holders on campus.

QUICK HITS: Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice scored on a touchdown catch, rumbling nearly 50 yards into the end zone. … Imposing wide receiver Justin Harper, who's battling for a roster spot, had a pair of acrobatic touchdown catches in red-zone drills. … Billy Cundiff hit all seven field goals and Shayne Graham missed once. … Safety Ken Hamlin picked off backup quarterback Marc Bulger, who also threw an interception to safety Haruki Nakamura.


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