Despite a report that linebacker Ray Lewis will miss Sunday’s game because of a toe injury, head coach John Harbaugh is not willing to rule his 12-time Pro Bowler out for the Ravens’ upcoming game against the Bengals.
Harbaugh said that Lewis has played through serious injuries in the past, and there’s a chance he does it again this weekend.
“Ray is Ray. You can’t count Ray out,” Harbaugh said. “There could be reports out there and you guys could turn over some rocks and figure out and ask, and think you have something, and you might have something. But you might not. We’re talking about Ray. We’ll find out on Sunday really.
“Ray has had shoulders dislocated and he’s done 35 push-ups on the sidelines to prove that he can go. He’s had hamstrings that have torn off the bone because he went ahead (and played) when he should have been gone. I’ve been updated on some of his history. That’s Ray Lewis.”
Harbaugh disputed a report that Lewis’ injury is career-threatening, saying that it’s not a “serious, serious thing”.
“Ray may not go, he may go,” Harbaugh said. “The Bengals will have to prepare for him either way so it really don’t matter. It’s something that he could play with possibly but we are very confident in our linebackers and we’re very confident in our defense. You go out there as a defense is what you do. We’ve had plenty of injuries all year. We’ve had lots of guys hurt throughout the course of the year and we’ll play with the guys that we have. We have a very good group, we have a very good defense and we’ll play well.”
Should Lewis not be able to play Sunday, one guy who might replace him in the starting lineup is third-year inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.
Harbaugh said he considered Ellerbe a game-time decision, as the Georgia product is not fully recovered from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the Ravens’ last four games. But Ellerbe had a full practice yesterday, and said that he thinks he’ll be able to slide into the lineup Sunday if the Ravens need him.
“I’m always ready,” Ellerbe said. “I had a good week of practice today. I feel ready to go. I took a lot of reps. Nah, it didn’t feel strange. I’m just happy to get back out there. I just go out there and show what I’ve always been showing that I’m able to play in the league and play for the Ravens.
“I really don’t feel no pressure. I’m just trying to go out there have fun with it. It’s some big shoes to fill. I just want to go out there and have fun and help the team.”