Coffee Companion (11/29): your daily Ravens fix

Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he’ll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too.

RUNNING IT BACK

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal about when linebacker Ray Lewis will return to practice. ... Four players, including starting defenders Corey Graham and Dannell Ellerbe, sat out Wednesday's practice. ... The Ravens offensive line has struggled in recent weeks. ... Safety Bernard Pollard says he hasn't been fined by the NFL yet. ... Quarterback Joe Flacco admitted that Ray Rice saved him from criticism last week

RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US

The Ravens are preparing for multiple quarterbacks this week. ... The Ravens defense has gotten better in November. ... Rice was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. ... Wide receiver Torrey Smith is continuing to develop into an all-around receiver. ... Left guard Jah Reid is learning to keep his emotions in check.

BEHIND ENEMY LINES

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is throwing, but his status for Sunday is still cloudy. ... Maurkice Pouncey could move to guard. ... Wide receiver Mike Wallace and running back Rashard Mendenhall are taking lineup changes in stride. ... The Steelers defense must collect more than just good stats.

SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY 

In this week's edition of "Five Ravens stats that stand out," I crunched numbers on the Ravens defense, Torrey Smith doing damage after the catch, Ray Rice breaking tackles and more.

OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE

The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed defensive end Jason Babin off waivers. ... The San Francisco 49ers named Colin Kaepernick their starting quarterback. ... Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young intentionally lined up in the wrong spot to sabotage plays. ... Running back Darren McFadden may return to the Oakland Raiders. ... The Buffalo Bills are standing behind Chan Gailey.

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