BALTIMORE — Second year safety Terrence Brooks started training camp with the Baltimore Ravens on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He was activated from that list on Tuesday and took part in practice. The move comes at an ideal time for both Brooks and the Ravens. Former first round pick Matt Elam was a part of a rotation at safety but he is now on injured reserve.
The Ravens need someone to step up and Brooks needs to rebound from a tough rookie season. He registered zero interceptions and had 19 tackles in eleven games last season. Brooks had some trouble maintaining his assignment in coverage a few times last season. The most notable miscue was a part of a drive that cost the team a game in Cincinnati against the Bengals.
Brooks suffered ligament damage to his right knee against the Jacksonville Jaguars in December of last season. The injury cost him the rest of the season. Brooks said that his knee injury was the first time he had been injured and had to work his way back. “I haven’t had an injury before that, and I just didn’t know what to think about it. I was numb about it,” Brooks said. “They told me the rehab time, and I didn’t cry or get upset. I was just like, ‘Let’s do what we have to. Let’s take it on and keep going.’”
The former Florida State University safety was able to participate in mini-camp and moved around well. Coming back from a knee injury is a difficult task for a defensive back. Brooks said that he has been cautious when jumping for a ball or making sudden cuts. It’s clear that he could make certain plays if he was 100 percent when watching him at practice. The goal right now for Brooks is to refine technique and bring the knee along gradually.
Starting the season on the PUP list was something that Brooks wanted to avoid. He felt that he had to rebound from last season and come with a different mindset. “I definitely didn’t want to sit out this whole year. I put in my mind that, ‘Hey, I’m going to come back and be even stronger than I was before.’ I had some stuff last year that I definitely didn’t like, and that [was] not in my game plan,” Brooks said. “This year, I just have a whole, totally different mindset. The knee injury – I feel like – was a blessing for me. It was a wakeup call, like, ‘Get yourself going. Take it seriously. This is your job now,’ and I realize that this year.”
The joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles will be fast paced and intense. That will give Brooks a good opportunity to get back in the swing of things. Head coach John Harbaugh is pleased with the job that Brooks has done and feels that he is well ahead of his rehab schedule. “He has really done a great job. I don’t think you ever really know how well a guy is going to move around, football-wise, until he starts moving around football-wise,” Harbaugh said. “You get in football shape, so this week in Philly will be good for him that way, and we get him up to speed and get him going.”
Harbaugh asked Brooks how he felt about being activated. Brooks knew that he put in plenty of work and was excited about the idea of being able to compete He said that he is ready to go and was up early before his alarm clock went off because of the anticipation. Whether or not Brooks plays in the preseason game against the Eagles will really depend on how his knee responds to the stress over the next three days of practice.