Oh, no. No no no no no no.
Bad news in Ravenstown, folks.
Aaron Wilson tweeted early Friday morning that the foot injury that has kept Ray Lewis out of practice this week isn’t nearly as trivial as all of us had thought, and hoped, it would be. It looks much worse, as Ray will miss Sunday’s crucial division clash with the Cincinnati Bengals, and could miss more:
This is potentially devastating news for our purple birds. Lewis hasn’t missed a game in the John Harbaugh era, last sitting out the last couple games of the 2007 season. His absence couldn’t come at a worse time for the Ravens, with the 6-3 Bengals and then the NFC West leading San Francisco 49ers both coming to M&T Bank Stadium in the next seven days.
If I’m fishing for some optimism, at least inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe returned to practice fully on Thursday, and should be ready to play this week. Ellerbe has missed the last several games, and his absence has been felt, especially last week in Seattle when Marshawn Lynch broke the 100-yard plateau on the ground.
Ray is the emotional leader of the defense though, as well as the coach on the field, and Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata will all need to shoulder some of the load moving forward. Hopefully Ray won’t miss more than a game – two at most – but you can’t overstate how significant of a void there will be Sunday with no #52 on the field.