Harbaugh: Lewis will be at 'full speed'

Harbaugh: Lewis will be at 'full speed'
January 4, 2013, 2:30 pm
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To start the week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh refused to discuss the status of linebacker Ray Lewis.

Friday, he couldn’t stop raving about him, two days after Lewis announced he’ll retire after the playoffs.

When the Ravens play a wild-card playoff game vs. the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, it’ll be Lewis’ first action since he tore his triceps Oct. 14. He had surgery to get the tendon re-attached and came off the injured list recently.

He could've returned as early as Dec. 16 for a regular-season game, but Lewis was held back.

“When he came back from some of the rehab, we had that conversation. We had talked a lot, pretty regularly, almost every day about when he was going to come back,” Harbaugh said. “We were hoping to bring him back earlier. … but it would have been not smart.

“It would have been a big risk. We felt like we could get our positioning in the playoffs and then bring Ray back when the injury had the best chance to be completely healed. … He’s ready to go. He’s going to play in this game. He should be full-speed.”

If the Ravens lose, it will be the last time Lewis dances out of the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium after 17 years. And it would come against a team led by first-year coach Chuck Pagano, a former Ravens defensive coach who overcame leukemia this season to return to the sideline after missing 12 weeks.

“It’s going to be something. I thought about bringing my phone down there,” Harbaugh said of recording Lewis' final entrance at home. Even if the Ravens beat the Colts they’ll be on the road for the rest of the postseason unless the Cincinnati Bengals advance to the end. “It will be historic. It will be one of those moments, those special occasions -- just like Wednesday was a special occasion -- that we are never going to forget.”