Street Talk Kindle: “I need to learn the playbook all over again”

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OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens injured rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle has completed a series of neurological exams, and he’s now awaiting Baltimore doctors’ medical opinion on when he can resume playing football again.

The second-round draft pick fractured his skull in late July when he fell down two flights of stairs in Austin, Texas, and was hospitalized. He improved rapidly in August, eventually reaching the point where he was transferred to a rehab hospital in his hometown of Dallas and was cleared to travel.

"I had faith that I would get well," Kindle told 24×7 in his first interview since his serious accident. "I’m confident that I’ll be cleared, but I don’t have the final say. In my opinion, it went well.

"The doctors are going to give what they need to the team and they’ll make their decision on how they handle it. They didn’t really tell me nothing. They’re going to go over it when I leave. I’m ready to see what happens."

Kindle said that he underwent a series of cognitive tests, neurological and psychological exams.

"It’s a whole bunch of stuff," he said. "It lasts like five or six hours."

Kindle said that he’ll return to Dallas this morning. He remains unsigned and won’t be given a contract until he passes his physical.

"We’ll see how that ends up," Kindle said.

Kindle said the accident transpired at a friend’s house in the middle of the night because he couldn’t see where he was going in the darkness while trying to find the bathroom.

"It wasn’t really a function, we were just relaxing," Kindle said. "It was a big house. I should have turned the lights on. I was walking around blindly. All I had to turn was the lights on. I got up to go the restroom."

Kindle said the cut on his head that he suffered during the fall was roughly one inch long.

The former University of Texas star said he has never lost his belief that he would play again.

"I don’t think that part ever crossed my mind," Kindle said. "Faith is very important, regardless. It always helps."

Kindle said he appreciates all of the support he has received from family, friends, the University of Texas and the Ravens, including teammates and the coaching staff.

"Just to have that moral support means a lot to me," Kindle said. "It’s always good."

A former All-Big 12 selection, Kindle acknowledged that it’s a long road back from such a serious injury to play the game again and that he’ll have a major learning curve if he’s cleared to return.

If Kindle is allowed to play, he could possibly provide a pass-rushing threat for a team that just traded outside linebacker Antwan Barnes to the Philadelphia Eagles. His health is the first priority, though, and the team will be extremely cautious with his recovery.

"The first thing is I hope to get on the team soon," Kindle said. "Whenever they think I’m ready to play, I hope to go out there and play. I need to learn the playbook all over again.

"I haven’t seen it since minicamp. Basically, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Whenever my time comes, I’m going to make it happen."


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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