Ray Lewis Injury: Updates on Ravens Star's Potential Return

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

After tearing his triceps earlier in the year, Ray Lewis will return to the Baltimore Ravens before the end of the regular season. 

UPDATE: Sunday, December 30 at 11:40 a.m. ET by Adam Wells

Despite some optimism earlier in the week that he would be ready to go, Lewis is inactive for the Ravens in their regular season finale against Cincinnati, according to Luke Jones of WNST.net

#Ravens inactives: LB R. Lewis, LB T. Suggs, DT H. Ngata, WR A. Boldin, G M. Yanda, S B. Pollard, WR T. Doss

— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke) December 30, 2012

As you can tell by that injured list, the Ravens are playing it safe today. They already have the AFC North locked up, though they could move up to the No. 3 spot with a win here and a loss by New England. 

Lewis' status will be one of the key situations to monitor for Wild Card Weekend throughout the week. 



UPDATE: Wednesday, December 26 at 2:26 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

The good news keeps pouring in for the Ravens and their star linebacker. According to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec, the team activated Ray Lewis on Wednesday while putting LaQuan Williams on injured reserve to make roster room:

#Ravens have activated Ray Lewis and placed WR LaQuan Williams on injured reserve.

— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) December 26, 2012

That doesn't necessarily mean Lewis will suit up on Sunday—especially with the AFC North locked up. However, it does signify that whichever team takes on Baltimore in the playoffs will have a the 37-year-old linebacker to prepare for.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Saturday, December 22 at 12:40 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

Unfortunately for the Ravens, Ray Lewis will not be to help them stop their three-game losing streak. 

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported the following on the star linebacker's injury:

#Ravens LB Ray Lewis is NOT expected to return from his triceps tear for the regular season, I'm told. Back for the playoff still possible

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 22, 2012

Baltimore will face a difficult matchup with the New York Giants this weekend, but have already sealed a postseason berth. 

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Saturday, December 15 at 1:30 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

Unfortunately for the Ravens, Ray Lewis will not be able to return in time for a showdown with the Denver Broncos.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the following via Twitter:

Ravens do not plan to activate LB Ray Lewis by 4 pm and plan is to hold him out another week, via SalPal.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 15, 2012

Baltimore can clinch the AFC North with a victory over Denver, and it will have to find a way to stop its two-game skid without its defensive leader. 

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Tuesday, December 4 at 11:21 a.m. ET

Great news for Ravens fans, as Ray Lewis (triceps) is reportedly expected to practice tomorrow, according to ESPN's Ed Werder.

The Ravens coaches are planning for Lewis to practice Wednesday, a source said.

Barring a setback, Lewis could return to the lineup for next week's home game against Denver, a contest that will figure prominently in determining which team might receive home-field advantage and a first-round playoff bye.

---End of Update---


He is eligible to be activated on Dec. 16 from the injured reserve/designated to return list and, according to ESPN, should return on that date. 

Coach John Harbaugh is not as sure, because he wants to see his player return healthy in practice first: 

He is not imminent to return to play (in a game) or anything like that, so to me it's really a nonstory. He'll go out there when he's ready to practice when the elbow holds up. And when that happens, we'll let you know.

Although the Ravens currently lead the AFC North and are second in the AFC with a 9-2 record, the team could use his return.

The defense is currently ranked No. 23 in the league against the pass and No. 26 against the run. Overall, only eight teams allow more than Baltimore's 372.8 total yards per game.

Despite his age (37 years old), Lewis brings notable veteran skill to the linebacker position and helps shut down opponents against the run and pass.

The unit has not been that strong without him and his 57 tackles from earlier in the season. In fact, that mark still ranks fourth on the team despite Lewis missing the last five games due to the injury. 

Just as importantly, the veteran is a leader on the team. Despite a noticeable decline in his performance, his presence still makes everyone on the field better.

If he is able to return on December 16, it will be perfect timing for the most difficult part of the schedule. The Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals each have a winning record and make up the final three games of the regular season.

Even if Baltimore has clinched a playoff spot by that point, the games are sure to be important for positioning and gaining momentum for the postseason.

Hopefully for the Ravens, Lewis will continue to stay on schedule and be on the field for the final stretch.