Lewis can energize banged-up defense

Lewis can energize banged-up defense
December 21, 2012, 12:00 pm
Share This Post

Bynes seizing his opportunity to shine on the field

The Ravens have been mum when it comes to Ray Lewis, who has been practicing with them since last week.

Lewis (triceps) was eligible to come off the injured list and play last week in a 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos, but he wasn’t activated.

The linebacker isn’t talking, and it's likely that if he is activated for Sunday’s game vs. the New York Giants, it won’t happen until the league’s 4 p.m. deadline the day before.

Lewis was with the team Friday for the portion of practice open for media viewing.

The Ravens started Josh Bynes for the first time vs. Denver. Bynes, in just his second season, was on the practice squad to start the season and had to overcome a broken vertebrae. They’re also missing linebacker Jameel McClain (spine contusion) and Dannell Ellerbe (ankle).

Ellerbe hasn’t played during the Ravens’ three-game losing streak, and McClain, whose season is done, will go on injured reserve when Lewis gets activated.

Even though Lewis wouldn't be near 100% and has slowed significantly in his 17th season anyway, the defense can at least use his relatively healthy body.

The Ravens had trouble getting Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning off the field as he held the ball for 38 minutes last week.  The defense is running out of players. 

"It would be great to have him back. I said that a couple of weeks ago when we first started seeing him come back. I’d love to have him. I think it would be a great emotional lift, but more than that, we could use some bodies in there at linebacker," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said.  "We’ll just have to wait and see whatever they say is a go."

Lewis tore his triceps tendon in a game on Oct. 14. He quickly had surgery, but it typically takes four months for it to heal.

Linebacker Terrell Suggs has been playing with a torn biceps that has yet to get surgically repaired. He can still tackle with the injury.

With a torn triceps, Lewis can’t push off to shed blocks which is crucial to his function with the Ravens. Coming back too soon increases his risk of re-injury.

While Lewis can accelerate his regimen to get back into football shape, he can’t speed up the healing process. Still, he could give it a try.

"He’s looked like Ray," Pees said. "At this time in the year, I don’t think there are very many teams out there hitting like you do in training camp. So, you don’t necessarily see the physical part, but the mental part, it’s not going to leave you after 17 years. … He’s there."