There’s no question that Ray Lewis will return to his starting role if and when he’s healthy enough to do so this season.
And given his leadership and his ability to align the defense, drawing from what he’s learned about an opponent during film study and from his massive experience, he should start.
The question is will it be Dannell Ellerbe or Jameel McClain who is the odd man out.
Ellerbe is the more impactful player by far and deserves to start beside Lewis.
But such personnel decisions are never as clear-cut and dried given Harbaugh’s blind loyalties and that old doghouse of his. One only needs to look at the way the team has handled Bryant McKinnie.
Given the recent struggles of rookie Kelechi Osemele and with pass rushing stalwarts named: Woodley; Miller; Dumervil; Pierre-Paul; and Umenyiora looming on the horizon, you can’t say that a fresh McKinnie at LT and Michael Oher at RT isn’t a better pair of bookends than Oher and KO.
The doghouse is real.
And Ellerbe is a former tenant.
So don’t be shocked if he’s the odd man out.