Mike Preston: Is Lewis out for Sunday's game?

November 18, 2011|Mike Preston

It's funny watching all the drama surrounding 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis' playing status for Sunday. Lewis is listed as questionable for the game, but there won't be a decision until Lewis makes the final call himself.

 Because over at The Castle, there are the Ravens and then there are Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. But everybody lives in "Ray's World," as former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan used to call it. Lewis has missed the past two days of practice with a foot injury, and there is speculation a toe injury might sideline him for several games, including Sunday's tilt with the Bengals.

 When most players miss Wednesday and Thursday practices, it is a clear indicator that they will not play Sunday, at least by the standards set forth by coach John Harbaugh during the past 3 1/2 years. But this time, it's different. It's Ray Lewis. Ray could miss three straight practices and still play Sunday.

It's Ray's World, and he dictates the terms. When he wants to practice, he practices. When he wants to play, he plays. When he wants to stay on the field on third-down situations, he stays on. It's Ray's World.

 If Lewis doesn't play Sunday against the Bengals, that would suggest his injury is more serious than believed. Lewis wouldn't miss playing against his own mentor and friend, Marvin Lewis. If he doesn't play on Thanksgiving night against San Francisco, it's really a serious injury because Ray doesn't miss being in the limelight and on national TV.

 But come Sunday, I wouldn't be surprised if No. 52 puts on the pads. Earlier this season, Lewis' shoulder popped out and he took himself out of the game. Lewis wanted to go back in, but team officials wouldn't let him. Lewis said he was going back in, did 30 push-ups on the sideline to prove his point, and was back in the next series. His love for the game is exceeded only by his desire to win.

 Until Lewis says he isn't playing Sunday or the team makes an official announcement, I'm not assuming anything. It's Ray's World, and only he will make the final call.


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