Dannell Ellerbe's roller-coaster ride with the Ravens appears to be climbing upwards again.
With 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis sitting out the team's 31-13 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday night due to an aunt's illness, Ellerbe got the nod to join Jameel McClain as the starting inside linebackers.
"It felt good that they trust me enough to go in there and fill in for a great player like Ray," Ellerbe said. "I just went out there and tried to do my best."
Ellerbe, an undrafted free agent in 2009, had made three starts in the regular season two more in the postseason in his rookie campaign. But McClain won the competition to start at inside linebacker, and Ellerbe barely reached the field.Ellerbe said he feels like he has regained the coaching staff's faith.
"I feel like they trust me," he said. "I've been playing since my rookie year, so I kind of expected to be in if he [Lewis] wasn't going to be in."
Ellerbe finished with three tackles, and he split a sack of Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel with cornerback Lardarius Webb. It's another positive step for the talented but mercurial linebacker.
"It's always a good sign to be on the field," Ellerbe said. "So yeah, I take that as a good sign."