Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who has missed the past four games with a toe injury, returned to practice on Wednesday. Lewis hadn’t practiced since the week leading up to the 16-6 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
As Lewis walked out onto the practice field and pulled his purple No. 9 practice jersey -- worn in honor of the late Steve McNair -- over his gray hooded sweatshirt, his teammates clapped and cat-called the 36-year-old.
Before Wednesday’s practice, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that if Lewis wasn’t able to practice this week, he wouldn’t automatically be ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers.
“Ray is different probably than most guys so I think Ray could get out there and play without practicing,” said Harbaugh, who didn’t tip his hand about Lewis practicing. “If he didn’t practice, he could play on Sunday.”
At a charity event Tuesday, Lewis told reporters that he is optimistic that he will return before season’s end.
"I'm feeling way better," Lewis said. "Way better. I thought I had a good chance the last four weeks to play, but the coaches are going to make those decisions. They're just being smart. I don't mind being smart. The warrior side of me of course is always going to want to get back out there."