After suffering what appeared to be a frightening neck injury in Sunday’s 21-0 victory at the Tennessee Titans, starting left guard Alex Lewis was back in the Ravens’ headquarters in Owings Mills on Monday, and it appears he might have dodged any debilitating effects.
“He came back with us last night,” coach John Harbaugh said of Lewis, who was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Sunday and released after undergoing a CT scan. “It looks good. There’s no serious kind of injury there in terms of neural-type issues. He’s possible for this week, as far as I know right now. So we just have to see as the week progresses, and [we] continue to test and see how he comes along. So that could change at any time. That’s what we’ve been told this time.”
Lewis, the organization’s fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, injured himself as he pulled to the right side of the line and made a kick-out block on linebacker Sharif Finch. After several minutes of treatment from athletic trainers, Lewis was moved onto a stretcher and carted off the field. He appeared to give a small wave to Ravens teammates nearby.
Harbaugh said rather than move James Hurst from his customary spot at right tackle, the team inserted rookie Bradley Bozeman into Hurst’s position. Bozeman was taken with the team’s third of three sixth-round selections in April’s draft as a center out of Alabama.
“I thought Boze played really well,” Harbaugh said. “He did a good job, solid.”
Thanks to holding on to the ball for 37:34 on Sunday, the team ranks second in the league in average time of possession (33:20), trailing only the Philadelphia Eagles (33:42).
The Ravens’ advantage in time of possession against the Titans was aided by three drives of seven minutes or more, including a series in the first quarter that chewed up 9:09 and ended with quarterback Joe Flacco connecting with wide receiver Michael Crabtree for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Harbaugh noted the importance of a running game that averaged 3.5 yards on 35 carries in keeping Tennessee’s offense off the field.
“I think a lot of things went into that,” he said. “We ran the ball a lot — toward the end of the game with more success, obviously, and that’s kind of what you’re talking to. I think we had 16 defensive snaps in the second half, so that goes to the fact that we were getting three-and-outs and also to the fact that our offense was staying on the field. We had one really long drive. We kept the ball, didn’t score a lot of points, but we kept the ball a lot. We made a number of third-down conversions. I think we were maybe 12 of 17, I think, on third-down conversions, and one time, I think, we’d only missed one. And a number of those were long third-and-longs. So those probably two things went hand in hand.”