Despite an encouraging week of practice and a desire to return, Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis won't play today against the New York Giants.
Lewis, who hasn't played since Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys because of a torn right triceps, was not activated before Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline, making him ineligible to face the reigning Super Bowl champions. It will be the ninth straight game Lewis has missed.
The 37-year-old has practiced the past three weeks, and several team sources indicated Thursday that they were hopeful Lewis would return against the Giants. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday that Lewis is "coming along," and defensive coordinator Dean Pees said a day earlier that Lewis looked like himself.
However, Lewis, whose right arm has atrophied after having surgery Oct. 17, apparently hasn't done enough to convince the team's medical and coaching staff he is ready to play. Lewis is also not expected to return for next weekend's regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, though team officials haven't ruled out the 13-time Pro Bowl selection's return for the playoffs.
If the Ravens win one of their final two regular-season games, they'll successfully defend their AFC North title and host a playoff game in two weeks. If they lose out and either the Bengals or Pittsburgh Steelers win their final two games, the Ravens will open the playoffs on the road as a wild-card team.
For Lewis to be eligible for the playoffs, the Ravens would have to activate him from the injured-reserve-with-a-designation-to-return list by Wednesday. Per league rules, players on that list can practice for a period not exceeding 21 days before they either have to be activated to the 53-man roster or revert to season-ending injured reserve. Lewis has been practicing since Dec. 5.