OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Convening for their first practice of the summer, the Ravens were only missing one projected starter as cornerback Lardarius Webb was not working on Thursday after failing his conditioning test.
The seventh-year defensive back was a full participant during last month’s mandatory minicamp, but he was not allowed to take part in the first full-squad workout of training camp. The 29-year-old missed all of last year’s training camp and the beginning of the 2014 regular season due to a lingering back injury.
“It’s always a big deal. You want to see guys pass it,” said head coach John Harbaugh, who cited several former players who had failed to pass the conditioning test in previous summers. “The conditioning test measures anaerobic conditioning. It measures the ability to recover, to get your heart rate way up and recover.
“Webby is in really good shape in a lot of different ways. I can see it in the way he moves in the weight room, but he’s not in the kind of anaerobic shape he needs to be in to come out here and practice. The idea being that if I go play after play after play and I begin to get fatigued and I can’t move the way I need to move, I’m going to have a fatigue type of an injury. That’s why it’s part of the physical.”
The conditioning test consists of six timed 25-yard runs in which players run up and back. Veteran newcomers have often mentioned over the years how difficult the Ravens’ test is compared to those of other teams.
In most cases, a player failing to pass isn’t a problem in the long run, but Webb not being ready to practice isn’t a good look after his disappointing 2014 season. For now, the Ravens won’t put too much stock into the delay to the start of his summer.
“He’s a little behind that way certainly, and he’s going to have to make up the ground,” Harbaugh said. “He took it hard on himself. He’s disappointed in himself just like you’d expect. I know he’s very determined to get through it.”
Webb was placed on the non-football injury list until he passes the test.
Harbaugh said defensive tackle Casey Walker was not practicing because he was placed on the active physically unable to perform list due to knee tendinitis.
Two other starters returned to the practice field after spring absences as center Jeremy Zuttah (hip surgery) and right tackle Right Wagner (foot) were working during the opening portion of practice. The Ravens are expected to bring the two along slowly to begin the summer.
Wide receivers Michael Campanaro (quadriceps) and Aldrick Robinson (knee) both returned to practice after suffering injuries during spring workouts.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (wrist) were present and working after being limited in the spring.
Tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) and safety Terrence Brooks (knee) were limited to watching practice as they both began the summer on the active PUP list.