Ballentine feels "great" after 1st practice back

365 days after his 2015 season was officially ended, Lonnie Ballentine came back.

The Texans safety was placed on injured reserve on October 19 last year because of a knee injury he suffered the day before in a win over the Jaguars.

Wednesday, though, Ballentine officially returned to practice with his teammates. The third-year pro remains on the physically unable to perform list, but could be eligible to start playing in games in the next three weeks.

After working outside with his teammates at the Houston Methodist Training Center, Ballentine said he "felt great" physically, and was happy to be back at practice.

"It's been a grind," Ballentine said. "I'm a professional, so it's our job to get back healthy and get back to being able to play. That's what I did. Now I'm just here trying to help the team any way I can."

Ballentine played in two games last season and finished with three solo tackles and a pass defensed in the Week 6 win at Jacksonville. He was hurt in that game, and has spent the last year rehabbing his knee. Ballentine's grateful the Texans never gave up on him.

"It means a lot," Ballentine said. "I just really appreciate everyone upstairs for believing in me and giving me a chance."

Ballentine was taken in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was the 256th overall pick, and played collegiately at Memphis. 

Check out the best photos from Wednesday's practice.

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