Kapron Lewis-Moore, Brent Urban Making Comebacks


The saddest moment of last year's training camp was when defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore tore his Achilles tendon.

Lewis-Moore screamed out in pain and sobbed loudly as he was carted off the field.

Just as searing as the physical pain was the emotional toll of the injury.

Lewis-Moore had already torn his ACL in Notre Dame's BCS championship game in 2013, his final collegiate game. That sent him tumbling to the sixth round of that year's draft, where the Ravens selected him knowing full well he would most likely need a redshirt rookie season (which he did).

Lewis-Moore approached his second season with vigor. He dominated at 2014 rookie camp, which he was allowed to participate in because he hadn't yet played a down in the NFL. He continued to flash during training camp.

Then the Achilles tear came, and another season went spiraling down the drain. Just like the first injury, it happened without any contact, which particularly frustrated and baffled Lewis-Moore.

"There was a time when I was very upset at myself," he said at his locker last week. "But I wasn't doing anything wrong. It just happens. That took a while for me to come to terms with."

It was such a crushing injury that Lewis-Moore debated not making a comeback.

"I'll be honest with you. There were times when I was like, 'Do I really want to do this?'" he said. "The Achilles and ACL are the two worst injuries for an athlete."

Those thoughts are gone now, however.

Lewis-Moore has been participating in Ravens on-field workouts, and has the green light heading into this week's start of organized team activities. He's joined by sophomore defensive end Brent Urban, who also sat out all of last season with his second major knee injury.

"It's really important that Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore come on," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Thursday. "Brent looks like he's 100 percent. Kap looks like he's really close to 100 percent. I think those guys will be full-go in the OTAs."

Lewis-Moore has a good role model when it comes to returning from an Achilles injury. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was back on the football field a miraculous five months and six days after having surgery to repair his torn Achilles in 2012.

Lewis-Moore had the same surgeon, Dr. Robert Anderson. Suggs gave Lewis-Moore some tips last season on what it would take to make a return, but Lewis-Moore has been doing it himself this entire offseason. He's been with the Ravens trainers throughout the "break."

"I feel confident. I'm not hesitant," he said. "Now I just have to wait for my explosion to come back."

Doctors told him that explosion will be the final piece of the puzzle to fall in place. Even Suggs wasn't the same player upon his immediate return.

But, above all else, Lewis-Moore is concerned with just staying on the field.

"It is make-or-break this year," he said. "Obviously you want to fight and make the roster and stuff, but you've got to be healthy to do that. You can't be injured.

"I've been blessed that the Ravens actually kept me these last two years. I appreciate them for sticking with me, and that's another motivating thing for me. It's time to show them why they drafted me."

Urban is another recent draft pick who wants to show what he can do.

The fourth-round defensive end from last year's draft tore his ACL early in last year's training camp. He tore the ACL in his other knee five years prior. Urban said dealing with the injury has been easier the second time around.

"You get in little ruts where you may not feel great, but I kind of know what to expect in the process," he said. "I've been through it before and I won't get down in certain parts. I'll be able to push through things."

The 6-foot-7, 295-pound product also impressed coaches during his time on the field last summer. Urban was very strong at the point of attack and can get his hands in passing lanes.

With Urban and Lewis-Moore both slated to return this year, the Ravens should have tremendous depth with returning veteran Chris Canty. The Ravens didn't make any additions at defensive end this offseason.

"Coming in I obviously wanted to play and make an impact," Urban said. "For them to show that confidence in kind of leaving that door open where there's going to be a big competition in training camp – they're confidence in the guys that they have – it's great."

The Ravens traded defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the Lions and will rely on their young defensive linemen to carry the load. Besides 11-year pro Canty, the Ravens' defensive line's average years of experience is 2.3. Urban and Lewis-Moore are joined by returning defensive ends Christo Bilukidi, DeAngelo Tyson and Steven Means.

"The young D-linemen obviously are going to be huge for us. We've gotten younger there really quickly," Harbaugh said. "There's going to be some major competition on the defensive line."

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