OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis didn’t practice all week and is expected to miss his fourth consecutive game Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year is officially listed as questionable due to a right turf toe. The Times first reported that Lewis would miss a maximum of four games, and Lewis is expected to return next week against the San Diego Chargers.
“It might make sense,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said when asked if Lewis would be rested this week. “It would just depend on how well he’s coming along. I think he’s very close. It’s one of those injuries that you just have to see how it goes.
“You have to take everything into consideration. Maybe he could have played the last couple weeks, maybe we decided to just mitigate the risk. We just have to see where we’re at.”
If Lewis is sidelined again, the Ravens will start Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain at inside linebacker.
The Ravens ruled out cornerback Chris Carr for the third game in a row due to a back injury.
Kicker Billy Cundiff (left calf) is questionable.
Carr acknowledged that his frustration is growing that he’s not recovering sooner, but expressed optimism that he could be back for the Chargers game.
Meanwhile, six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk returned to practice Friday and is expected to start.
He’s listed as probable and was limited Friday.
So are rookie running back Anthony Allen (hamstring), offensive guard Ben Grubbs (right toe) and rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith (thigh).
Smith was limited in practice Friday.
The Colts ruled out linebacker A.J. Edds (ankle), and quarterback Peyton Manning (neck surgery) was declared out earlier this week.
The following players are questionable for Indianapolis: linebacker Pat Angerer (knee), tight end Dallas Clark (fibula) and tight end Brody Eldridge (hand), wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (groin), fullback Ryan Mahaffey (concussion), guard Joe Reitz (knee) and linebacker Ernie Sims (toe).
Clark is expected to return after missing the past three games.
RICE HONORED: Ravens Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice was named the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.
Rice beat out Marshawn Lynch and Chris Johnson.
He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week earlier this week.
Rice rushed for a career-high 204 yards on 29 carries against the Cleveland Browns during a 24-10 win.
FedEx is making a $2,000 donation in Rice’s name to the Junior Achievement area office in Baltimore.
Rice ranks second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,473 yards behind Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte’s 1,487 yards.
Rice has rushed for 926 yards and nine touchdowns, catching 56 passes for 547 yards and two scores.
“He’s become a tremendous leader, as a young guy,” Harbaugh said. “He’s not a young guy anymore, is he? He’s a premier player. He’s a playmaker.
“He’s a great guy. He’s very mature. He’s one of the hardest working guys. He’s a great guy to be around, and I’m just very proud of what he’s done.”
QUICK HITS: The Ravens haven’t scored a touchdown against the Colts during the past three games of the series, and have dropped eight in a row to Indianapolis. “Where have you been the last three years? Weren’t you paying attention?” Harbaugh said. “Well, that’s what happened. We lost three games. We turned the ball over, and we didn’t get turnovers all the time. They played great against us. We’ve played pretty well; the game here we had them in a sense. Every game is its own story as usual, but it’s been a tough series for us the last three times out.” … Harbaugh downplayed the story line of the Colts leaving Baltimore in the Mayflower vans in 1984. “I haven’t been here that long,” he said. “You guys have been here the whole time, so that’s what you guys write about every year. So, I don’t know. The Colts have been gone for how long?” … The Ravens would ideally like to continue to run the Wildcat offense with rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor at the controls. “We’re going to try to pursue opportunities to get him out there,” Harbaugh said. “It’s hard to take your starting quarterback out of that spot, because you have so much confidence in him. Where is that balance? How much do you want to do that? You’d like to be able to do that and give Tyrod a chance to play. So, that’s what you struggle with. The priority is to win the football game.” … Although the Ravens have replaced Tom Zbikowski at strong safety with Bernard Pollard, he remains a viable part of the special teams as the primary kickoff returner with a 22.7 average on three returns. He also recorded a sack against the San Francisco 49ers. “Well, the fact that he’s always been a really good special teams player is positive for him,” Harbaugh said. “It just shows you what kind of player he is. He’s a defensive player that we have full confidence in when he goes back there and plays. So, you don’t even skip a beat when he’s out there. He’s one of our leaders on special teams, and he’s one of our leaders on defense. He knows the scheme inside and out. He helps get guys lined up. He’s just a really good player.” … Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is a proponent of the Fu Manchu mustaches that quarterback Joe Flacco, tight end Dennis Pitta and punter Sam Koch are sporting. “I like the handle bars, what a way to buy in to what we are doing around here,” Suggs said. “It seems like kind of an offensive thing, and it seems like it has been working. So, we are going to let them do them. We are going to stick with us being a little uneasy, not all there. That’s what the defense’s thing is.”