Ellerbe will play through bulging disk in back

Ellerbe will play through bulging disk in back
January 29, 2013, 7:15 pm
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Chris Miller and Brad Jackson have fun at media day

A bulging disk couldn't keep Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe out of the AFC championship game, so it is unlikely to prevent him from playing in Sunday's Super Bowl. 

"I played last week. That was the most pain I played in my entire career," said Ellerbe, in his fourth season. "I’m definitely playing in this game. I feel a lot better. It’s the Super Bowl."

Ellerbe, who missed three games late in the season with an ankle injury, withstood the pain to play all 83 defensive snaps in a 28-13 triumph at the New England Patriots.

He had five tackles, one quarterback hit and a fourth-quarter interception of Tom Brady to seal the victory. 

While much has been made about Ray Lewis' return for the playoffs after tearing his triceps in Week 6, it was Ellerbe who steadied the ship until Lewis' return as the Ravens' defense improved from 27th overall to 17th.

In fact, the Ravens have struggled without Ellerbe. They're 0-3 in games he has missed. He's solid against the run and in pass coverage.

Ellerbe also played with casts on both thumbs earlier in the season. 

"I got a cortisone (shot)," Ellerbe said of how he was able to manage the back pain last week. "I'm going to stop telling people I got epidural because they think that’s what pregnant women get. I don’t want to go through that ever again."