Before Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis tore his right triceps against the Dallas Cowboys, he wasn't having a sterling season based on his own high standard. He had 57 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery with one pass deflection. While Lewis' instincts were strong as ever, he was having trouble escaping from blocks, was suffering a bit due to nose guards Terrence Cody and Ma'ake Kemoeatu's struggles and his range and tackling had clearly declined. So now the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is making his return after surgery and missing the past 10 games. Ravens coach John Harbaugh says Lewis will be full-speed, but is that realistic considering the rust accumulated during over two months of no football? We're going to find out. This was nearly a season-ending injury, and Lewis has made a valiant recovery, which is a credit to his dedication to the game and his teammates. He insists he'll be ready even though there are obvious signs of atrophy with the right arm not being as big as his left arm. "I just think where I have it now, 100 percent," Lewis said. "I can't tell you there is no weakness in it. I can't tell you if I go out there, I might do this, I might do that. I don't think I would put myself, as well as my teammates, in that position. Have I played hurt before? Absolutely. With this injury, because of what I do so much, I don't think I would take that chance. ... I feel good. I feel healthy. I feel great, actually." Lewis said he didn't experience any setbacks in his rigorous rehabilitation, never experiencing concerns that he wouldn't progress to this point. "Actually, it was the opposite," Lewis said. "Most of the doctors I was dealing with were trying to get me to calm down, because I wanted to push it a little more. And I just went fast. I went real fast. Pain was really the last thing that was on my mind. I never really thought about pain a lot. I just thought about really just getting through it, the next day, the next day, the next day, and kept stacking days on top of each other. "So, I started feeling good real quick, and that's when I started getting really excited. Because after [surgery], I think, I was riding my bike in 10 days. I had banded it up, but it didn't hurt me. I didn't feel any tweaks or nothing like that. I had a very speedy recovery."
Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun
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