During the Ravens' Wednesday practice at this week's Organized Team Activity (OTA), wideout Derrick Mason* *was on the field running routes when the team was performing seven-on-seven drills.
Despite his shoulder injury, on one play, he made a swift cut towards the sideline and reached high to snag a bullet pass from quarterback Joe Flacco before turning upfield.
Considering Mason recently made comments that he could miss Baltimore's entire training camp later this summer because of a shoulder injury, it was promising to watch the 13-year veteran make that grab.
"Yeah, [missing training camp] was news to me. I think there is a really good chance Derrick will be there for the start of training camp," head coach John Harbaugh said attempting to clarify Mason's statements. "What we are most concerned about – and I think the point Derrick is making – is that our No. 1 concern is Derrick starting the season healthy.
"[We have to do whatever we can] to make that happen. He's not a guy that is going to get a ton of training camp reps – guys like Ray [Lewis] too. You temper those guys a little bit, but I'm pretty sure he'll be ready for most, if not all, of training camp."
Mason was vague when he first met with the media during the Ravens' mandatory minicamp from May 8-10.
He was coming off left shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and scapula, and the severity of the procedure was unexpected.
That left him donning a red mesh top over his practice jersey to signify no contact for the first few days. Mason did not participate in the last practice as what was deemed an "Over-30 Club" privilege.
When asked about his timetable for a return to the field, Mason could only pinpoint opening day on Sept. 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"We'll see," Mason said at the time. "I guarantee you I'll be ready for the first game, that's all I can say. I'll be ready by the first game. Everything else, I'll just play it by ear."
Mason returned to the locker room when the Ravens went to full-team drills Wednesday and was not available to speak with the media when practice ended.
Last season, Mason led Baltimore with 80 receptions for 1,037 yards. In his absence, Mark Clayton has stepped up, while second-year prospect Marcus Smith has looked promising, along with recent free-agent signee Kelley Washington. In addition, the Ravens are expecting wideout Demetrius Williams to continue his recovery from offseason surgery on his Achilles' tendon.