On Wednesday, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis returned to the practice field for the first time since tearing his triceps muscle during a Week 6 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
In Lewis’ absence, the Ravens defense has held up admirably. The team has produced a 4-2 record since Ray last played, and until they allowed 23 points in Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh (and Charlie Batch…at home…UGHGUGHGUGHHHH) they had led the league in fewest points per game allowed since their bye in Week 7 (14.5).
Though Ray was back on the practice field, head coach John Harbaugh stated in his Wednesday press conference that Ray will not take the field this Sunday when the Ravens clash with the Washington Redskins in Landover. Lewis is not eligible to come off the Injured Reserve (designated to return) until next week, and Harbaugh said that he isn’t sure when Ray will play in a game again.
practicing present (see Update 2 below) Wednesday during the walk-through portion open to the media was fellow linebacker Terrell Suggs. Suggs injured his right biceps muscle late in the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh loss.
The latest on Suggs is that he has a very severely sprained biceps, to the point that it can basically be considered a tear. However, Harbaugh said that it is possible Suggs could play through the injury.
Unfortunately, Suggs’ injury has the potential to get worse. While the Ravens could certainly use him on the field against the Redskins, they have to keep his status for the rest of December and the postseason in mind as well.
Suggs spoke with the media and said that his status is uncertain.
“We got to see how it goes…my concern is, would I help or hinder the team?” Suggs said. “I’m in good spirits. I’m going to do my best to play this week.”
Suggs has certainly helped the team since returning in Week 7. Though his numbers are not gaudy (19 tackles, 2 sacks) his presence has opened the door for Paul Kruger on the other side. Kruger has recorded a sack in four straight games, and his 6.5 total sacks are both a career and a team-high.
At the least, Ravens fans can breathe a sigh of relief that Suggs will be back at some point this season. We had feared that the IR was in his future, but he said he’ll “definitely” be back soon.
Perhaps the two best-recognized faces of the Ravens defense (though Ed Reed may have something to say about that), Lewis and Suggs have not been on the field together together at all in 2012. Suggs was out until Week 7 with a torn Achilles tendon, and Lewis has not played since Week 6.
Update: Ray Lewis issued the following statement:
“I’m making progress and will practice some today. But, the story shouldn’t be about me right now. We’re playing the Redskins Sunday, and I am not eligible to play. If I can help prepare my team in some way for that game, I will. When I know I will play in a game, or when I play in game, I will say more then.
“For right now, I am excited to be back on the field, and I do plan to play again this season. We’ll see how I continue to progress from here.”
Update 2: Though Suggs was indeed present during the walk-through portion, the team officially listed him as a non-participant in today’s practice.