His rookie season having ended before it began, Sergio Kindle is taking steps to ensure that he is still an active member of the Ravens.
The team's top pick and the 43rd overall selection in the draft in April who's out after making a wrong turn in the dark on July 22 and falling down two flights of stairs suffering a fractured skull said he has been running, lifting weights, and generally completing the physical things he needs to do to stay in shape.
"It's going well," Kindle, an outside linebacker, said of his rehabilitation a couple weeks ago. "I'm doing things with the team besides practicing, and as time goes on, I'll be able to do more and more."
Kindle is also taking part in positional meetings and getting accustomed to the weekly task of game-planning for different opponents.
"It's only difficult because during the week, they're planning for the game and coming up with the game plan, and I'm in the process of re-learning the plays and everything all over," he said. "Every play sounds familiar, but there's a lot of them that I still have to learn."
Without getting into specific details of Kindle's recovery, coach John Harbaugh said it appears that Kindle is progressing according to schedule.
"I talked to him," Harbaugh said. "He has a set of … I think it's a Tuesday and a Friday when he goes to the hospital and he works the [ physical therapy] stuff there very actively. Then we have a whole protocol here that he works on. Plus, he does cardiovascular conditioning, obviously, and the weightlifting. He's in all the meetings unless he's at the hospital. … I don't think we've measured it yet. He's just working out right now."
Kindle's participation has been limited to off-field activities. He missed training camp and the rest of the preseason and didn't sign a contract with the organization until Sept. 24.
Kindle has been a near-constant presence on the sideline during portions of practices open to the media, and inside linebacker Ray Lewis said teammates have picked up on Kindle's determination to return to his former self.
"I think when you do watch Sergio, what you do [notice] is he really misses it, like he really wants to be out there," Lewis said. "He was even out there messing around wanting to practice, wanting to do walk-throughs, wanting to do all these things. I just think, and I always try to encourage him with some type of just a good word, a good vibe, telling him, 'Everything happens for a reason. Trust me when I tell you that.' And I think he gets it. He gets it as a young kid. Hopefully, he can come back and play. … Hopefully, that head injury goes away and that young kid can come back and play because he's a great talent."
Kindle said he has yet to travel to any road games with the team, but he said he's there in spirit.
"I support my guys through the television," he said. "It's hard not to be able to play, but I know the situation that I'm in. I have to sit out this year. So I'm dealing with that. I'm just happy to have a second chance."
Asked if it's difficult to root for his teammates without standing beside them, Kindle replied, "It is, but my guys are going to handle their business with or without me there."
Baltimore Sun reporters Ken Murray and Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.