Four days after Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Alex Lewis was a "ways away" from returning, the rookie guard was a surprise participant in Friday's practice.
"He's done a great job as far as just really working. I've seen him practically 24/7 working on it," Harbaugh said. "To see him back out there today is a real plus."
Lewis, who started eight of the team's first nine games at either left guard or left tackle, has missed three consecutive contests after sustaining a high right ankle sprain on Nov. 10 against the Cleveland Browns. The initial prognosis was that Lewis could be sidelined for up to six weeks. It's unlikely that Lewis will play Monday night against the New England Patriots, but his return to practice this week could give him enough time to be ready for the Dec. 18 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"I want to be part of the fun and I want to get out there and win some games with the fellas," Lewis said. "It felt good. Each day is going to get better."
Since Lewis went down with what initially looked to be a significant leg injury, normal right guard Marshal Yanda has moved over to the left side, a position that allows him to play through a left shoulder problem. Vladimir Ducasse has started four consecutive games at right guard.
Yanda seems entrenched at left guard until he gets his shoulder fixed and Ducasse has played well at right guard, leaving the Ravens with a decision to make when Lewis returns. Lewis hasn't played right guard since he was in high school, but he said he'd do what the coaching staff asked.
"We'll just have to figure out how to do it and we'll just to have to see how it goes as we go forward," Harbaugh said. "He can play right guard. There's no doubt, but I'll also say this: Vlad is playing really well, so it's a good problem to have."
Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh) and tight end Crockett Gillmore (thigh) remained out of practice and are expected to miss another game Monday. Center Jeremy Zuttah and Suggs were given the day off. … Wide receiver Danny Amendola (ankle) didn't practice for the Patriots. … Initial projections had snow in the forecast for Monday night in Foxborough, Mass. However, the forecast now calls just for some wind and possibly rain. "I guess it's going to be cold. Shocker," Harbaugh said. Harbaugh held practice indoors Friday, wanting to avoid the wind outside and to prepare on a turf surface, which is what the Patriots have at Gillette Stadium.