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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewisâ€™ status for Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons remains somewhat shrouded in mystery.
The seven-time All-Pro didnâ€™t practice Wednesday because of a badly bruised back after missing last weekâ€™s 27-26 win over the Tennessee Titans. Listed as questionable on the initial injury report, Lewis wasnâ€™t made available for comment.
The Ravens have said they are waiting for a pocket of blood to break up in the middle of Lewis’ back following his collision with Ed Reed on Nov. 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Swelling, pain and a lack of mobility are the primary medical concerns as X-rays are negative with no structural damage revealed.
â€œHeâ€™s a little like everybody, a little beat up, a little stiff, a little sore,â€ Ravens coach Brian Billick said. â€œHopefully, heâ€™ll feel a little better [today].â€
Meanwhile, the Ravens have already ruled out Lewisâ€™ backup, Mike Smith (shoulder), whoâ€™s expected to miss several weeks, and are preparing former practice squad member Dennis Haley for his first career NFL start.
Tight end Todd Heap (ankle), defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (foot), wide receiver Derrick Mason (calf) and linebacker Adalius Thomas (ankle) were limited in team drills and are listed as questionable.
PLAYOFF PLANS: The NFL has granted permission to the Ravens to sell playoff tickets, and the team will send out a detailed letter Friday to season-ticket holders. Baltimore hasn’t clinched a playoff berth, but owns a three-game lead in the AFC North.
TRANSACTIONS: The team signed offensive guard Ikechuku Ndukwe and linebacker Jimmy Cottrell to the practice squad, releasing offensive tackle Mike Kracalik and defensive tackle Nick Leaders. The Ravens also tried out linebackers Jamar Enzor (Cincinnati) and Tim Goodwell (Memphis).
QUICK HITS: Thomas gave mixed reviews of versatile Falcons running back Warrick Dunn. â€œWarrick Dunn is a good back, heâ€™s shifty, moody, a spinning guy,â€ Thomas said. â€œWarrick Dunn has kind of slowed down, but you know heâ€™s a capable guy.â€ â€¦ Billick has no intentions of changing his argumentative style with officials, which drew a rare unsportsmanlike conduct penalty Sunday. â€œNo, not a chance, Iâ€™ll just keep paying the fines,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m going to keep dog-cussing them the way Iâ€™ve been dog-cussing them. Ninety-nine percent of them are OK with that. Evidently, I got the 1 percent thatâ€™s a tad sensitive.â€ â€¦ The Falcons will be without starting defensive ends John Abraham (groin) and Patrick Kerney (pectoral) and cornerback Jason Webster (groin). Defensive tackle Rod Coleman (toe) and former Ravens inside linebacker Ed Hartwell (knee) are questionable. … When asked why he delivered an unconventional head-butt to a Titans player for a personal foul, cornerback Chris McAlister stared at the questioner and replied: "I don’t know."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland