Excitement builds for Lewis' return

Excitement builds for Lewis' return
December 27, 2012, 3:30 pm
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Ravens defense prepares for the Bengals' offensive weapons

Seemingly everyone is talking about the return of Ray Lewis, except Ray Lewis.

The linebacker was activated earlier in the week, but he has yet to speak and he's not playing in Sunday’s regular-season finale at the Cincinnati Bengals.

That Lewis likely will be back on the field Jan. 5 or 6 for a home wild-card playoff game has the Ravens’ locker room jazzed up. Lewis (triceps), in his 17th season, was injured Oct. 14 and soon after had surgery to re-attach the tendon.

The injury normally takes four months to heal after surgery. He'd be coming back in just less than three months. 

“It’s the greatest linebacker to ever play the game. That’s always going to be a big boost,” said Dannell Ellerbe, who returned from a three-game absence because of an ankle injury last week. “His leadership, his determination to come back from his injury, it’s going to give the whole team a boost. We are just looking forward to getting him back, because we all know what he brings to the game.”

Running back Ray Rice is on the offensive side of the ball, but he felt the mood alter for the better. His locker is next to Lewis’.

“Even when he had his first day back at practice, you saw practice change. He is that kind of guy where he comes in the building and the whole mood changes,” Rice said. “He has that ability.

"It was just great knowing that he was back out there with us. You are talking about an injury … that could have taken a whole year. “