Advertisement

Lewis and Ellerbe sit, forcing McClellan to start

Ray Lewis

sat out his second straight game as the Ravens elected to deactivate the inside linebacker for the Thanksgiving night showdown with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

Advertisement

Lewis, a 12-time Pro Bowler, told The NFL Network during a pre-game interview that the injured toe on his right foot is still bothersome.

"There is a large amount of pain there, but I think it's more importantly about the injury," Lewis said. "Do I go ahead and re-injure it tonight on a very short week and fight it the entire rest of the season, instead of just going ahead and get through this stretch right now? The team is well prepared."

Advertisement

Lewis estimated that the toe felt about 85 percent healed, and he said that decision to sit came from the coaching staff.

Lewis called reports that the injury was of the season- or career-ending variety premature, saying, "I think all of those reports are terrible."

Lewis, whose consecutive starts streak ended at 57 when he was scratched prior to Sunday's victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, had practiced on a limited basis in each of the past three days. He had been listed as questionable in the team's final injury report on Wednesday.

Lewis' usual replacement also did not play.

Advertisement

Dannell Ellerbe

was deactivated after being limited the past three days by a balky hamstring.

Contrary to the pre-game report circulated in the stadium's press box,

Albert McClellan

— not

Brendon Ayanbadejo

— joined

Jameel McClain

Advertisement

as a starting inside linebacker. It was McClellan's first start of his career.

Defense gets after 49ers' Smith

After a few quiet weeks on the sack front, the Ravens defense got after San Francisco quarterback

Alex Smith

, collecting 9 sacks — which tied a team record for most in a single game.

The Ravens had recorded only four sacks in the previous three games.

Linebacker

Terrell Suggs

had three sacks, all in the second half. Defensive end

Cory Redding

registered two and a half — his first two-sack outing in a contest since Nov. 12, 2006 against the 49ers.

The Ravens entered the game tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for fourth in the NFL with 29 sacks, but defensive coordinator

Chuck Pagano

had said Nov. 17 he deserved the blame for the underwhelming number of sacks in recent weeks.

"I've got to send them more," he said. "I've got to call more. That's not on them. That falls on my shoulders. I've got to be more aggressive and get after them."

49ers still stout vs. run

San Francisco demonstrated why it boasts the stingiest rush defense in the NFL.

The Ravens had a prime scoring opportunity with first down-and-goal from the 49ers' 4-yard line late in the second quarter, but could not get into the end zone, settling for a

Billy Cundiff

23-yard field goal. The 49ers, who entered the contest as the league's top-ranked defense against the run (73.9-yard average) and had not permitted a 100-yard rusher in 32 consecutive games, are the only team in the NFL yet to allow a rushing touchdown.

"They haven't allowed any touchdowns, their yards per carry is really good. That's where they've been really good," quarterback

Joe Flacco

had said Tuesday. "And when they can do that, they can get after a pass or two."

Zbikowski gets first nod on kick returns again

As he did last Sunday,

Tom Zbikowski

got the first crack at returning kicks against the 49ers.

Zbikowski, who downed both of his opportunities, had said Wednesday that he was ready.

"You've just got to be prepared for anything and be prepared for everything," Zbikowski had said. "I'll go in there expecting to get some returns because I'd rather go into that way than not be prepared at all."

End zone

In addition to Lewis and Ellerbe, the Ravens deactivated cornerback

Chris Carr

(back), defensive tackle

Arthur Jones

(post-concussion symptoms), outside linebacker

Sergio Kindle

, rookie running back

Anthony Allen

(thigh) and wide receiver

Tandon Doss

. … Safety

Haruki Nakamura

(thigh), who had been upgraded from limited to full participation Wednesday and was listed as probable, was active. Wide receiver/kick returner

David Reed

was also active. He was scratched against the Bengals after fumbling three kick returns in his previous two contests. … The Ravens have now gone 19 consecutive games without surrendering a point on an opponent's opening possession. … The Ravens entered Thursday night's game with a 28-5 record when scoring first under coach

John Harbaugh

. Cundiff gave the team a 3-0 lead with a 39-yard field goal on the offense's first series. … For San Francisco, four starters — wide receivers

Michael Crabtree

(foot) and

Braylon Edwards

(knee), running back

Frank Gore

(knee) and right tackle

Anthony Davis

(ankle) — played Thursday night. … The 49ers deactivated guards

Daniel Kilgore

and

Mike Person

, fullback

Bruce Miller

, cornerback

Shawntae Spencer

, quarterback

Scott Tolzien

, wide receiver

Brett Swain

and nose tackle

Ian Williams

. … Free safety

Ed Reed

, left tackle

Bryant McKinnie

and punter

Sam Koch

represented the Ravens for the coin toss.

Advertisement
Advertisement