Ravens DE Calais Campbell had surgery to remove infection

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell was sidelined for last week's 27-22 win at Tampa Bay after being listed with an illness on the injury report.

But it was more than a cold that knocked out the six-time Pro Bowl player, who missed his first game of the season.

Campbell told ESPN on Saturday that he underwent surgery to remove an infection on Oct. 26, a day before the Ravens' win against the Buccaneers. He declined to go in-depth about the procedure, but he acknowledged he was taken aback at first.

"I had an infection that required surgery to remove, so it was pretty bad," Campbell said. "In the moment ... yeah, that's scary."

Campbell, 36, said he's at full strength now after taking antibiotics, and he's not even listed on the injury report leading up to Monday night's game at the New Orleans Saints.

"I feel good," Campbell said. "I don't feel any different, so that's good. I'm back to my normal self."

On Oct. 23, Campbell had four tackles and a sack to help Baltimore beat the Cleveland Browns 23-20. He played in 40 of the Ravens' 60 defensive snaps (67%).

The next day, Campbell was listed on the injury report and missed all three practices before Baltimore's game at Tampa Bay.

"I was worried in that moment that it might be something that would take longer," Campbell said. "But once I talked to the doctor, he said everything was good. I was like, 'Oh, that's great news.'"

Known for his durability and toughness, Campbell is the only active NFL defender to play in at least 200 career games. He is one of four NFL players to record at least 700 tackles and 85 sacks since 2000.

"I think it matters more when you get later in your career, but no matter what, anytime you have to watch a game, it kind of makes you appreciate playing," Campbell said. "It reestablishes that love for the game and just let you know that any moment it can be taken from you. I want to squeeze every juice of love and excitement out of this game and leave it all on the field. Because when it's over, it's over."