Ailing Defense Could Get Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis Back Sunday


The Ravens could get a huge boost to their banged-up defense Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs and team leader Ray Lewis both have a chance to play.

Suggs was close to playing in Sunday's game in Washington, but he and Harbaugh decided not to risk further damage to the biceps injury Suggs suffered the week before against Pittsburgh.

"He was close," Harbaugh said. "That was a decision right before the game that was made between he and I. I just decided with the [wet] conditions and those kinds of things, it was better for him safety wise not to play." 

Lewis has been out since Week 6 with a triceps injury. He returned to the practice field for the first time last week and is now eligible to take the field for a game.

Harbaugh said last week that Lewis wasn't healthy enough to play against the Redskins, even if he were allowed to by NFL rules. But he's "making good progress."

"We'll just have to see how he practices this week," Harbaugh said. "Going into Wednesday, he'll do a lot more things. He'll kind of push it the next two days. I'm looking forward to how that plays out."

Harbaugh was asked if Lewis has a chance to play, and he gave an upbeat response. 

"Oh there's a chance, yeah," he said.

The Ravens' most crucial injury from the Washington game was suffered by Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda, who has had another standout season and has yet to give up a sack.

Harbaugh announced that Yanda has a "somewhat serious ankle sprain" that will continue* *to be evaluated this week after he gets an MRI. It's not an ankle break in any way, Harbaugh confirmed.

The hard-nosed Yanda went down during overtime and did not return. He was seen on crutches in the locker room after the game.

The Ravens' other injuries during the game were to running back Ray Rice (hip contusion), running back Bernard Pierce (lower back strain), defensive end Art Jones (right shoulder bruise), defensive end Pernell McPhee (groin), safety Bernard Pollard (ribs), fullback Vonta Leach (ankle) and linebacker Jameel McClain (neck).

He said all were fine and that Leach will be "working through that this week."

McClain's injury looked to be a bit more serious as he crumpled to the ground trying to make a tackle on Redskins running back Alfred Morris in the third quarter. Immediate X-rays were negative, but McClain was in a lot of pain.

"Jameel McClain is going to be okay," Harbaugh said. "He's got to get some testing done, but he should be okay.  That's standard procedure. "

Tight end Ed Dickson (knee) did some running Monday and will have a chance to play Sunday. The same goes for cornerback Jimmy Smith (sports hernia), Harbaugh said.

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