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Another year in the AFC North, and another Baltimore visit for former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis.
Now with the Cleveland Browns, Lewis spent the majority of his career growing up in purple and black. But this weekend, he’ll be on the visitor’s sideline at M&T Bank Stadium when the Browns come to Charm City.
Whether Lewis plays could be in question. According to reports out of Cleveland, Lewis did not participate in the portion of Browns practice that was open to the media on Wednesday. Lewis suffered a stinger in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings and was listed as probable on last week’s injury report with a neck injury.
This season, the 10th-year veteran has rushed 25 times for 95 yards and no touchdowns.
If Lewis does play, his teammates expect to get his best performance.
“I do know that he is going to come here and run hard this week,” said linebacker Ray Lewis, who said he talked with the running back this week. “I know he’s going to be fired up to come in and try to get 100 yards and all that good stuff. So, the bottom line is for us to just come in and play our type of defense, play our type of football and hopefully get another win and go to 3-0.”
It won’t be easy against the Ravens’ run defense, which is ranked first in the NFL after only allowing an average of 41.0 yards on the ground over two games.
Last year, Jamal Lewis rushed 12 times for 56 yards in the first Ravens/Browns meeting. It was 19 attempts for 49 yards the second time.
Lewis has a storied history in Baltimore. As the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year in 2000, he was a key component in the Ravens’ Super Bowl Championship squad after amassing 1,608 total yards.
He also set a franchise record in 2003 by rushing for 14 touchdowns.
The current crop of Ravens that were here with the familiar No. 31 (not Fabian Washington) enjoys meeting Lewis on the field.
“It’s fun,” linebacker Jarret Johnson stated. “The thing about Jamal is that he’ll bring it every play. He gets really amped up against us, and it’s fun because guys are going to be talking trash. But at the same time, you have a lot of respect for him because of what he’s done.”