Ravens' Elvis Dumervil confirms he'll make 2016 debut against Raiders

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil confirmed Thursday what Terrell Suggs had announced the day before -- he's making his 2016 debut against the Oakland Raiders.

Asked if he's starting Sunday, Dumervil smiled and said, "Since my guy already said it. I'm excited to go in front of our crowd."

Dumervil missed the first three games after having a setback in his recovery from offseason foot surgery. He indicated that he was "real close" to playing last Sunday.

This week, Dumervil had his first full practices of the regular season.

"I will say the last couple of weeks, I woke up and I felt good," Dumervil said. "We really got after it conditioning. This week, for sure, we really pressed it. You're never 100 percent in football. One thing I can do is I can play with pain. Earlier in the year, I was more injured than hurt."

The Ravens believe the return of Dumervil will help the defense generate a rush with its front four and reduce the number of blitzes, which can leave a secondary vulnerable. The last time Dumervil and Suggs played a full season together was 2014, when they were the NFL's top sacks duo.

"I’m hoping that Elvis is back to the old Elvis of old and that he can give us an edge rush like he always gives us," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said.

By not playing, Dumervil said he reconnected with the reason why he plays the game.

"I had some time to really reflect how I want to end my career and how I want to attack this season," Dumervil said. "It was tough not being out there with your guys. But they're working and working hard with the guys inside, training guys. I'm excited. It's time."

Is this possibly Dumervil's last season?

"I'm not saying that," he said. "All I'm saying is I'm excited and you just revalue playing in this game. You just never know when you're healthy enough or it's taken away from you. It put things in perspective, and really go out and really try to dominate every play that you can."