Quick Links

Ray Lewis visits Ravens teammates at practice

Ray Lewis visits Ravens teammates at practice

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) The Baltimore Ravens received a surprise visit from injured star Ray Lewis, who was placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list over three weeks ago.

The 17-year veteran linebacker, rehabbing a torn right triceps away from the Ravens' team facility, wasn't expected to return to the team at this juncture of the season. However, Lewis is in town for a scheduled appearance Friday night and decided to catch the Ravens practicing during the day.

Lewis did not speak to the media Friday but released a statement saying he's happy to return to the team.

``I've really missed these guys and the feel of being around the team and in the locker room,'' Lewis said. ``I am focused on rehabbing and getting my arm and body as strong as they can be.

``I will speak in person when I know a little more about my progress. I'm working hard and looking forward to coming back and helping this team. But right now, the focus should be on the guys playing, and I'll be the biggest cheerleader I can be for them.''

The visit surprised coach John Harbaugh, who acknowledged he was unaware Lewis would be stopping by. Following Friday's practice, Lewis gave one of his signature speeches to help motivate his team for Sunday's game against Oakland.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who came back from an Achilles tear three weeks ago, said Lewis let them know he's preparing to come back later this season as long as the Ravens can make a playoff run.

``It's great to see the leader, the general of your army, out there,'' Suggs said. ``He let us know he's on pace to come back. If we handle business he'll be back in a Ravens uniform this year. We have to do our part, though.''

Through six games, Lewis recorded 57 tackles, which is still second-best on the roster and only behind safety Bernard Pollard. After the injury, Lewis was replaced in the starting lineup by Dannell Ellerbe, who's led the Ravens in tackles the past two games with nine in each contest.

Lewis is eligible to return to practice after six weeks and game action after eight weeks.

Though Suggs seemed optimistic based on Lewis' words in his post-practice speech, Harbaugh said the organization doesn't have a timetable yet for when Lewis could return.

``There's no way for us to know enough about how far along he is or how he's doing,'' Harbaugh said. ``We'll just have to see how it goes, in all honesty.''

Quick Links

Weddle added to AFC Pro Bowl roster to replace McCourty

Weddle added to AFC Pro Bowl roster to replace McCourty

Ravens safety Eric Weddle has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster to replace Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who will be playing in the Super Bowl instead. It will be the fourth Pro Bowl appearance for Weddle, who played his previous nine NFL seasons with the Chargers before signing with the Ravens as a free agent.

Many thought Weddle was deserving of a Pro Bowl selection when the rosters were originally announced.  Weddle had an outstanding season with 89 tackles, four interceptions, a sack, and a forced fumble, serving as the leader of the Ravens’ secondary.

Five other Ravens were also named to the Jan. 29 Pro Bowl game in Orlando – long snapper Morgan Cox, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, inside linebacker C. J. Mosley, kicker Justin Tucker, and guard Marshal Yanda, who will not play due to a shoulder injury.

Related: Ravens could take a cornerback in the first round of the NFL Draft

Quick Links

In a draft deep at CB, taking one early could be Ravens' best move

In a draft deep at CB, taking one early could be Ravens' best move

The Ravens may need to rethink their draft strategy regarding cornerbacks. They haven’t drafted a cornerback in the first three rounds since 2011, when they took Jimmy Smith with the 27th overall pick.

Smith is still the Ravens’ best corner. However, he has been plagued by injuries in recent years, and lack of cornerback depth has become a glaring weakness for the Ravens, in a league that features many explosive wide receivers.

Related: NFL Mock Draft 1.0

According to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., this year’s draft is loaded with talented corners. With the 16th overall pick, the Ravens can address their need at cornerback with someone who might be talented enough to start as a rookie.

“There’s a lot of corners in this draft that are going to go in the first round,” Kiper said during a recent conference call.

Many believe Marshon Lattimore of Ohio St. will be the first cornerback off the board, and will likely be gone before the Ravens can grab him. In his first mock draft, Kiper had Lattimore going No. 6 to the Jets.

However, the list of top-rated corners that could be available for the Ravens at No. 16 includes Marlon Humphrey of Alabama, Sidney Jones of Washington, Jourdan Lewis of Michigan, Teez Tabor of Florida, Cordrea Tankersley of Clemson, and Quincy Wilson of Florida.

The Ravens grabbed a promising corner in the fourth round last year in Tavon Young, who had a strong rookie season. But the Ravens may not have the luxury of waiting to take a cornerback this spring. Instead of taking the best player available at No. 16, the Ravens will have to consider taking the best corner available.

Related: Depth at running back reduces need for Ravens to trade up in draft