OWINGS MILLS, Md. — On the first day in which he could return to the practice field, Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis wasn’t ready to join his teammates just yet.
Placed on injured reserve with the designation to return on Oct. 17, the 37-year-old was eligible to begin practicing on Thursday after six weeks on IR. However, Lewis would not be allowed to play in a game for another two weeks, which would make him eligible to play in Week 15 against the Denver Broncos at the earliest.
Lewis returned to the team’s Owings Mills facility earlier this week to continue rehabbing from surgery on his right triceps tear as coach John Harbaugh described his status as “day-by-day” and did not project an imminent return for the 17-year veteran.
“He’s trying everything that he can to get back,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “There are guys that would — with not even that many years [in the league] — say, ‘Oh well. I’ve had a great career. I’m going to the Hall of Fame. What the heck?’ It’s just not like that with him. That’s what pros do. There’s no quit.”
The Ravens were also without tight end Ed Dickson (knee), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (ankle), wide receiver Jacoby Jones (ankle), and safety Bernard Pollard (chest). Pollard practiced on a limited basis Wednesday before sitting out Thursday’s workout while the other three have now missed two straight practices this week.
Cornerback Corey Graham returned to the practice field a day after being stricken with a stomach bug.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith (thigh), cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring), defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee-thigh), and safety Ed Reed (shoulder) were also present and working after being listed as limited participants on Wednesday’s injury report.
The Steelers added starting nose tackle Casey Hampton to Thursday’s injury report as he was dealing with an illness.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day, but reports continue to paint a dark picture for his status on Sunday afternoon. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says “it does not look good” for the Pittsburgh signal-caller to make his return against the Ravens on Sunday.
Safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Antonio Brown each practiced fully for the second straight day, making their respective returns to the field Sunday all but certain barring a setback.
OUT: CB Jimmy Smith (abs)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: S Bernard Pollard (chest), TE Ed Dickson (knee), LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle, knee, finger), WR Jacoby Jones (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Chris Johnson (thigh), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), S Ed Reed (shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION: CB Corey Graham (illness), WR Anquan Boldin (knee), DT Terrence Cody (elbow), TE Dennis Pitta (neck), LB Terrell Suggs (ankle), WR Torrey Smith (thigh)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: T Mike Adams (ankle), T Willie Colon (knee), QB Byron Leftwich (ribs), LB LaMarr Woodley (ankle), DT Casey Hampton (illness)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Jerricho Cotchery (ribs), QB Ben Roethlishberger (right shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION: T Max Starks (back), WR Antonio Brown (ankle), S Troy Polamalu (calf)