Ray Lewis is on injured reserve, done for the season, with a torn triceps. Or is he?
Citing more than six sources, Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that Lewis is expected to play again this season and could return as early as Dec. 16 for the Ravens' home game against AFC West-leading Denver. The Ravens currently lead Denver by one game for the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
The Broncos game is the earliest Lewis would be eligible to return after he was given the injured reserve-designated to return status -- new this season. According to that rule, Lewis cannot practice for six weeks and cannot play for eight weeks.
Lewis, 37, has been on the sideline for Ravens games and has been aggressively treating his triceps injury, suffered against Dallas on Oct. 14.
"At the end of the day, you're gonna see Ray Lewis again," veteran linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo told Yahoo! Sports.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was less definite, telling Yahoo! that " We'll see in another couple of weeks. Stay tuned."
Discussing the possibility of Lewis coming back in December, ESPN's Ron Jaworski said Lewis is still a great motivator, but that his return would have "very little" impact on the Ravens.
"I don't believe Ray Lewis was playing to the standard that he had set for himself prior to the injury," Jaworski said. "Yes, he's a good football player. He's a great leader. He's a future Hall of Famer. But when you watch Ray Lewis on tape, he does not make the plays he used to make. Father Time catches up to everyone."