The Ravens will not activate inside linebacker Ray Lewis for the first game in which he’s eligible to return against the Denver Broncos.
Per an ESPN report, Lewis will not be placed on the 53-man roster by Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline and will instead target a potential return against the New York Giants in Week 16. The 37-year-old tore his right triceps in a game against Dallas on Oct. 14 and has been on injured reserve with the designation to return.
Lewis began practicing on a limited basis on Dec. 5, but the linebacker continues to rebuild the strength and muscle in his right upper arm following a surgical procedure that typically takes a minimum of four months for recovery. Several reports had indicated that Lewis would be ready to play against the Broncos, but that optimism began waning earlier this week when Lewis wasn’t present for the portion of Wednesday’s practice that was open to media. He practiced on Thursday and Friday.
“He’s making good progress, and we’ll just have to see how he practices this week,” Harbaugh said at his Monday press conference following last week’s loss to the Redskins. “Going into Wednesday, we’ll know a lot more, because he is going to push it a little bit over the next two days. [We’re] looking forward to seeing how that plays out.”
Baltimore has been ravaged by injuries at the linebacker position as Terrell Suggs suffered a torn right biceps two weeks ago and inside linebackers Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe have also sustained injuries in recent weeks. McClain has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Denver while Suggs and Ellerbe are listed as questionable and are game-time decisions.
With so many injuries all over the field, the Ravens cannot afford to make a roster move to activate Lewis until they are confident he’s ready to play. The 17-year linebacker hasn’t spoken to local media since suffering the injury but released a statement through the team upon return to practice the Wednesday before the Redskins game.
“I’m making progress and will practice some today. But, the story shouldn’t be about me right now,” Lewis said. “When I know I will play in a game, or when I play in game, I will say more then.”
Even though he’s missed the Ravens’ last seven games, Lewis still ranks fifth on the team with 57 tackles this season.