Ray Lewis has been absent from the Ravens defense since he tore his right triceps muscle Oct. 14 against the Dallas Cowboys. While his contributions this season weren’t as valuable as they have been in years past, Lewis would have been a huge help for the Ravens defense this week against the Broncos.
Lewis was placed on the injured reserve but eligible to return list, leaving a window of opportunity for Lewis to make a remarkable return this week against the Broncos — just two months after he tore his right triceps muscle. This injury normally puts players out for the rest of the season. However, Lewis’ determination has not only put him in position to return to practice last week, but also given him a chance to play this weekend.
Yesterday, it was announced that Lewis was to miss today’s game against the Broncos as he will not be activated. With a list of inactives and actives to be released at roughly 11:30 a.m. –you will get them FIRST from WNST’s free text service — it is still uncertain who the starting inside linebackers for the Ravens will be.
Dannell Ellerbe is still questionable with an ankle injury. Jameel McClain has already been ruled out with a neck injury. With Lewis’ absence and Ellerbe’s status still uncertain, the Ravens will be trotting Josh Bynes, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Albert McClellan to handle the inside linebacker duties.
Lewis would be able to make an impact in this game if he was actually suiting up.
Yes, he physically is no longer the freak he was in his earlier playing days.
Yes, he isn’t the same run-stopping stalwart.
Yes, he has never been dominant in pass coverage and the strength of the Denver Broncos is throwing the football.
However, if the Ravens had No. 52, he would give them a better chance to win in terms of the chess match Peyton Manning plays with defenses.
No one watches more film than Ray Lewis. No one knows the defense better than Lewis. No one communicates signals to the entire defense better than Ray Lewis. When Manning is making all of his adjustments at the line of scrimmage, no one is more apt to counteract those adjustments with audibles of his own than the Ravens quarterback of the defense.
Ed Reed is vital in terms of signaling out defensive calls on the back end of the secondary. Reed also watches film on players and offensive coordinators to try and give them nightmares all week as they set up their offensive game-plans. But no one — even though his team has had little success against Manning in his career — is more intelligent and capable of adjusting his unit on the fly quite like No. 52.
While he has lost a step physically, the emotional intensity and knowledge of the game is still there. Although his return this week would’ve been remarkable, his continuing presence on the sideline can only help the Ravens. Missing him in the huddle, however, will be devastating for the defense in this contest.
If you wish to see my prediction of the Broncos-Ravens game, click here.
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