Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton returned to practice Thursday for the first time since he hobbled through a workout a week ago, a promising sign in his recovery from a minor knee injury.

Hamilton, a newly crowned Pro Bowl selection and one of the Ravens’ most important players, was inactive for Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins but seemed to be moving comfortably Thursday. He’d reinjured his knee in a Week 16 win over the San Francisco 49ers and was clearly limited in practice last Thursday before being held out of Friday’s session.

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With the Ravens having secured the conference’s top seed in the playoffs, team officials can afford to be patient with Hamilton as his health improves. Cornerback Arthur Maulet, who took over for Hamilton in the slot Sunday, could again be in line for a big role in Saturday’s regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Four starters were sidelined at practice for the second straight day: wide receivers Zay Flowers (calf) and Odell Beckham Jr. (rest), right guard Kevin Zeitler (knee/quadriceps) and cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who hurt his calf Sunday. After practice Wednesday, coach John Harbaugh said the team’s injury situation is “day-to-day,” indicating that the Ravens aren’t concerned about their availability for the divisional round of the playoffs.

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Cornerback Ronald Darby (illness) and safety Daryl Worley (shoulder/ankle), who’s been ruled out of Sunday’s game, were also missing.

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring.

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