When Matt Skura told reporters at the end of last season that he aimed to be back at the start of training camp, it seemed quite optimistic considering the extent of his knee injury.
Skura went down on Nov. 25 with ACL, MCL and PCL tears, as well as a dislocated knee cap. However, after a hard-working offseason, Skura has hit his goal.
Skura passed his physical Sunday and is expected to be on the field Monday when the Ravens have their first padded practice of training camp.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said last week that the Ravens wanted to make sure Skura was moving "the right way" and "put him against some pressure" before clearing him to take the field.
Skura's return puts him in good position to reclaim the starting job he held the past two seasons before undrafted rookie Patrick Mekari stepped in, and played well, after Skura went down last season.
Skura stepping back into that spot would help stabilize an offensive line that is now without Hall-of-Fame worthy right guard Marshal Yanda.
Harbaugh said Skura had become one of the NFL's better centers last year and Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman echoed that sentiment last week.
"I thought Matt got bigger and stronger, and played bigger and stronger last year. I really think his work in the weight room with our strength and conditioning staff in the offseason leading into last year allowed him to be a little bit more of a physical presence in there," Roman said.
"And that, coupled with the fact that he's played guard, he's played center, he understands and he's a very intelligent player. So, I really think his understanding of the game made his communication process almost utterly seamless at times. That's something he takes a lot of pride in, but a center is so important as far as getting everybody on the same page in today's NFL."