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Lewis, Suggs Could Be Back for Ravens

Posted Dec 12, 2012

The Ravens linebacking corps has been bitten by injuries, but Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs could be back Sunday.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In Week 15, it's rare that a team isn't facing a number of injuries.

For the Ravens, however, it just seems the majority have come at one position.

Baltimore has already listed inside linebacker Jameel McClain (neck) as out for Sunday's game against Denver.

Fellow inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who has missed the last two games, did not participate in Wednesday's practice with an ankle injury.

“It’s been tough," Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "It’s been as many injuries as we’ve probably ever had on defense here in the last five years."

There could be some good news coming this week, however.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, the NFL's reigning defensive player of the year, missed last week's game with a biceps injury but had limited participation in Wednesday's session.

Harbaugh would only say "we'll see" if Suggs will suit up on a conference call Wednesday.

Possibly even more notably, linebacker Ray Lewis, out since Week 6 with a triceps injury, is eligible to return from injured reserve to the field this week against Denver.

Harbaugh that Lewis' status is "unchanged," and the team hasn't yet decided whether or not he will be activated for Sunday's contest.

"We'll see," Harbaugh said. "If I knew if he was coming up at this point, I'd tell you, but I don't have that answer."

The Ravens don't have to list Lewis on the club's injury report until he is activated, so it is unclear how much Lewis will practice this week -- but the team's official Twitter account noted that Lewis was not at practice Wednesday.

"Those are two of the most dynamic players in the NFL and you’ve got them on the same defense," defensive tackle Justin Bannan said of Suggs and Lewis. "If they come back, I think it’s going to mean a lot.”

Head Coach John Fox said he hopes Lewis returns.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for Ray," Fox said. "(He’s) obviously going to be a first-ballot-Hall-of-Fame player, brings great energy. I like watching him do intros so I’m kind of hoping he plays for that reason, but they’re a good defense with or without Ray."

Quarterback Peyton Manning said it's Lewis' leadership that brings the most to his defense, not to mention his play-making ability.

“His intensity and his passion, it’s real," Manning said. "I’ve always kind of kidded Ray, he is just as intense and passionate in the fourth quarter of the fourth preseason game as he is in the first quarter of a playoff game. It’s real. That’s pretty special and that’s pretty unique. Some guys can turn it on in the big games. He always has it on. Every time I’ve played against him, which has been a bunch, I have great respect for the way he prepares for the game mentally. But his intensity and passion and spirit over there, it’s real and it’s contagious for his teammates, which is a great quality.”

The Broncos could see that up close and personal on Sunday.

"For him to fight off the injury and be back in time to play this season, that just speaks on the type of guy that he is and the type of work ethic that he has," linebacker Von Miller said. "Of course, Ray Lewis is one of the greats. I looked up to him when I was younger and I still look up to him now.”