Lewis Has ‘Real Good Chance’ To Return

With a few extra days of rest, Ray Lewis hopes to return Sunday after missing two games.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Monday, November 28th, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Categories: Garrett Downing, Week 12 vs 49ers

The Baltimore Ravens had a few extra days to rest following Thursday night’s win over San Francisco, which came at a crucial time as some key players try to work back from injuries.

Most notably is linebacker Ray Lewis, who has missed two straight games with a toe injury, and is hoping to get back on the field Sunday against Cleveland.

“Ray is probably the guy that’s the furthest away [from returning], if you’re looking at all the guys,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “But then again, you never know.

“Ray has a sprained toe, a turf toe kind of thing, so those are a little more unpredictable. I’m hopeful. I’ve used that word before. I think he’s got a real good chance.  We’ll just have to see how it goes.”

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (thigh) and defensive back Chris Carr (back) also missed the 49ers’ game, but Harbaugh said Monday they “looked good” coming back.

Ellerbe started in place of Lewis against Cincinnati, but with both players down against San Francisco, the Ravens turned to second-year undrafted player Albert McClellan to start at inside linebacker.

Ellerbe told a group of reporters Monday that he is hopeful to play against Cleveland, and Lewis said during an NFL Network interview on Thursday that he needed another game to allow the toe injury to heal.

“The rest part of it is big,” Harbaugh said. “It’s kind of a cumulative process in terms of recovery.”

The Ravens went through a tough stretch last week, having to play against two physical teams in the span of five days. The benefit – other than leaving both games with victories – was that they got to enjoy the weekend off before facing another divisional opponent.

“Every football player loves when they get an extra day off now and then to rest up,” rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith said on Monday. “It was an absolute needed rest.”

After the 16-6 victory over San Francisco, the Ravens had off Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but players nursing injuries were able to come into the facility for treatment. The entire team returned for a walk thru and team meetings on Monday, but has Tuesday off just like a normal week. Tuesdays are typically off days for all teams across the NFL.

“I rested on Friday, rested on Saturday and slept on Sunday,” defensive end Cory Redding said. “It was awesome to just let the bones heal up a little bit.”

Now the Ravens hope that they had enough time to get some critical players, including their team leader, back on the field.

“Injuries hurt every team,” Smith said. “When you have certain players who are starting for us that are injured, the fact that they got the extra three days, it means the world to them.”

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