Dumervil contributes, leaves healthy from return for Ravens
sgrogan@ cecilwhig. com
— When Elvis Dumervil made his season debut on Oct. 2, he lacked the strength required in his surgicallyrepaired foot to be an effective pass rusher.
The Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker played in one more game the following weekend, but experienced a setback in his foot. He missed Baltimore’s next five games.
“Mentally, I wanted to be out there, but the first time around, the strength wasn’t there,” Dumervil said Wednesday. “We went back to the drawing board, and we were able to come up with a game plan. Give credit to the training staff
and the weight room guys. We really just went after a plan, and we got the job done. I was able to come out with the team and help contribute to a win.”
Dumervil returned again on Sunday and contributed to the Ravens’ 19-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in a big way. He recorded a strip sack of quarterback Andy Dalton with just over one minute remaining and the Bengals inside the red zone. Dumervil also recovered a fumble in the second quarter.
“I told you before I’d be happy to see him out there making plays, and right on cue, he did it,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He looked like himself. He looked very explosive.”
The period between the Oct. 9 loss to the Oakland Raiders and Sunday’s win over the Bengals was a tough one for Dumervil, 32, who has only had one serious injury in his ca- reer. He vowed to come back, and did last weekend.
“You have to listen to your body. As a competitor, as a winner, sometimes you think you’re invincible, and then that’s when you get humbled,” he said. “I can’t control things I can’t control. Things I could control, which is go out and work on rehab and eating right, working out and doing the things necessary to be a pro, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve just been doing that.”
Dumer vil was sore after the win, as expected, but the fact that he participated fully in Wednesday’s practice was a positive sign.
“I was able to practice today, so that’s a good start,” he said. “Walking up the stairs with my baby girl after the game, that was pretty difficult. For the most part, my body is on track.”
Dumervil, a five- time Pro Bowler, set a Ravens franchise record with 17 sacks in 2014. He and Terrell Suggs were the NFL’s leading sack duo that season, but have hardly played together since. Suggs was glad to have his counterpart back on the field.
“It was great for our team that he is back,” Suggs said. “It adds to our arsenal. You definitely want a guy like Dumervil back on the field, and we love having him back.”
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A fumble by Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is recovered by Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil during the second quarter on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Baltimore dropped Cincinnati, 19-14.