USA TODAY Sports
December 30, 2012
The Ravens played it pretty smart with middle linebacker Ray Lewis.
At some point this week, Ray Lewis, the long-time face of the franchise, is expected to speak with reporters for the first time since the second week of October and address his return from a torn right triceps injury suffered in Week 6.
Lewis, who will return Sunday barring a major setback, undoubtedly will say all the right things and look forward, not back. He may even compliment the coaching staff and team doctors for exercising restraint and caution and holding him out even when the 17-year player wanted to return three weeks ago. That's when he was initially eligible to come off the injured reserve with a designation to return list.
But the Ravens decided that wasn't a good idea and as of now, it looks like their top decision makers played this one perfectly. They gave Lewis several more weeks to practice and get his right arm stronger after it atrophied following the surgery. They had confidence that they didn't need Lewis to come back prematurely even when the Ravens were in the midst of a three-game losing streak that threatened their playoff position. It couldn't have been easy, not with Lewis' persuasive personality and drive to be on the field.
Now, they'll get him back, just in time for the playoffs. I assume the Ravens will announce their starting defense before Sunday's game, allowing Lewis to dance onto the field, like he had never left. It's impossible to know how the 37-year-old will perform after not playing in a game in 2 1/2 months, but at the very least, he should provide a huge emotional boost.