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Ronald Darby is ready to contribute less than a year after tearing his ACL

The veteran cornerback aggressively attacked his rehab process as if he was already on a team so that he’d prepared whenever one came calling.

Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The advancement of modern medicine has made it so major knee injuries such as torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) aren’t career-ending anymore. However, that doesn’t mean the recovery and rehabilitation process from such severe injury setbacks aren’t any less grueling.

Despite being about 10 months removed from a torn ACL that ended his 2022 campaign with the Denver Broncos, the Baltimore Ravens decided to sign ninth-year veteran cornerback Ronald Darby on August 17. The move came in the wake of their three-time Pro Bowler Marlon Humphrey opting to undergo foot surgery that could cause him to miss the first couple of weeks of the 2023 regular season.

Darby said he is still getting back into football shape but is ready to take the field whenever he’s called upon, which could very well be their Week 1 season opener at home against the Houston Texans on September 10.

“If I get called on, I’m going to go out there and give my all,” Darby said. “I don’t feel any doubt or anything, or I wouldn’t be out there getting the reps that I’m getting.”

Darby said he’s been training and rehabbing from his season-ending injury with a routine like a player who had been on a roster for months.

“I was busting my [butt] rehabbing and running,” Darby said. “I was having like two-a-days all through the week, so I made sure I put the load on my body. Knowing that I wasn’t in OTAs, [and] I wasn’t in the first half of camp, I made sure I did more so I could be ready and have confidence on it. That’s what it’s mainly about, having confidence on your knee.”

As soon as doctors cleared Darby to resume rigorous physical activities, Darby stressed the process of getting the strength back and made sure that he ran a lot during his rehab so he could get his topside speed back up.

While he had some other teams interested in acquiring his services, Darby decided to sign with the Ravens because he believed in their winning culture.

“I’m really impressed by the defense – how they communicate; how driven they are; how each day they come out ready to work,” Darby said. “I came later in [training] camp, and they gave me first-week energy once I first got out here. The guys were flying around on both sides of the ball.”