There will be no Ray Lewis Watch this week.
The Pro Bowl linebacker has already been ruled out of Sunday's regular-season finale at the Cincinnati Bengals, coach John Harbaugh said after the 33-14 victory over the New York Giants. This confirms a report on NFL.com that Lewis would not play for the remainder of the regular season. He will have missed 10 games after tearing his triceps on Oct. 14. The Ravens are 5-4 without Lewis.
“We will not look at him again for this week. We’ll look at him [for] the playoffs,” Harbaugh told reporters. “It’s an injury that is a 12- to 16-week injury. So, if you do the math going back, we thought there was a chance. He is progressing really well. I’m not saying he couldn’t have played the last couple of weeks, but it would’ve been risky to re-injure it. The fact that there was some patience on Ray’s part and our part, it turned out well.”
Even if Lewis was healthy enough to play, it doesn't make sense for him to play Sunday because the Ravens have already wrapped up the division title. The Ravens will have to activate Lewis off the injured reserve-designated to return list this week because his 21-day window (he began practicing on Dec. 5) is almost over.
It would still be impressive if Lewis can return by the start of the playoffs. The earliest projection had been for Lewis to come back for the Super Bowl if Baltimore was to make it that far.
Harbaugh did indicate that "there's always a chance" Lewis might not play in the first round of the playoffs.
"We can’t say right now for sure,” Harbaugh said.
By the Ravens clinching the AFC North, they assured themselves of a home playoff game, which means Lewis could play another game at M&T Bank Stadium this season.