After halting an impressive streak of 66 straight regular season games played Sunday, things are looking up for Ray Rice.
The Ravens tailback is expected to return to practice this week.
“I’m very hopeful. I would expect that,” coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. “That’s the plan right now. We’re going to try to get him out there today and see what he can do and have our fingers crossed.”
Rice missed Sunday’s win over the Texans with a left hip flexor injury. He told The Sun that he expects to play at Buffalo this week.
Update: Rice participated in practice today in a limited capacity. So did linebacker Arthur Brown (chest), defensive end Chris Canty (thigh), wideout Deonte Thompson (foot) and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe).
Wideout Marlon Brown (neck), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), running back Shaun Draughn (ankle), center Ryan Jensen (foot), and defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee) did not practice.
Moving on to more of an off-field topic, in the wake of Monday’s party bus report, former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis questioned the Ravens’ leadership during ESPN Monday Night Football pregame show.
“We talk about the transition of losing so many guys, a guy like myself and Ed Reed and other guys that are based off leadership, I’ve said it earlier, ‘Where would the leadership come from?’ ” Lewis said. “Because the leadership being strong in the locker room and winning games, listen talent sometimes can win you games. But when you talk about what’s going on off the field, that’s the most important place where leadership steps up.
“When you think about the Baltimore Ravens and the transition that they went through, they’re missing leadership right now. When you have an incident like that, the first thing a leader is going to do is find some way to dissolve everything that’s going on and actually dissolve it before it comes to that type of head or even gets to that point. When you talk about the Baltimore Ravens they’re going to have to refocus and find some quick leaders in that locker room very quickly.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco responded to those comments on Wednesday, calling Lewis out a little bit in the process.
“Ray knows better than that. Things happen,” Flacco said. “I think we’re usually a pretty good team with stuff like that. If you look around the league, there’s probably a lot of leadership problems then. Like I said, Ray knows better. ...
“When you get the information of what happened, it is what it is. You laugh about it kinda. It’s funny some of the things that we deal with. I don’t have too many comments because they’d all be taken the wrong way and out of context, but it’s not really an issue.”
Asked about leadership in the NFL, Flacco said it’s quite important.
“But you’ve got to just make sure that you’re talking about the right things, which is gameplay and things like that, how we are in the locker room during the week,” he said. “People are going to go out after games and celebrate and do that kind of stuff, and everybody cannot be everywhere and nobody can prevent crazy things from happening. Stuff’s going to happen and you’ve just got to deal with it.”
Back to on-field matters, the Ravens made some minor roster moves Tuesday and Wednesday, claiming safety Jeromy Miles off waivers from the Bengals, waiving rookie safety Brynden Trawick and re-signing Trawick to the practice squad.
Trawick appeared in each of the Ravens’ first three games while Miles has played in 39 games with the Bengals since 2010.
“We’ve been playing against him the last few years. He’s a special teamer and a safety,” Harbaugh said of Miles. “We think he’s going to be a heck of a developmental safety for us and we think he’ll give us an immediate impact on the special teams part of it.
“Brynden, we put to the practice squad, so we feel pleased with that. We like where he’s at developmentally and where he’s going as a football player.”