Ray Lewis made it clear when he announced his retirement Wednesday that he doesn't plan on finishing up his career watching from the sidelines.
The future Hall of Famer expects to be back in uniform against the Indianapolis Colts for the first time since tearing his triceps in Week 6.
"There is no reason for me not to be playing on Sunday," Lewis said.
But exactly how much he plays remains to be seen.
Some have speculated that Lewis may only play a few snaps, and that his return is little more than an opportunity to run out of the tunnel one last time to inspire his teammates. But Lewis has never been known as one to tread lightly, and he even said that during the rehab "pain was really the last thing that was on my mind."
Dean Pees was asked about the kind of impact Lewis' return will have on the field, but the Ravens defensive coordinator didn't want to give away too much information.
"Well, it's hard to say," Pees said. "I can't be real specific on how, or what he's going to be doing, other than the fact that we are more than happy to have him back. Just having him out there on the field is an inspiration. I don't know how else to explain it other than, he's going to play."
In the 10 games Lewis missed, the Ravens turned to Dannell Ellerbe, Jameel McClain, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Josh Bynes to take over at inside linebacker. McClain is now on injured reserve with a neck injury, so Ellerbe is expected to start alongside Lewis in the middle of the Ravens defense.
From a conditioning standpoint, Lewis is in great shape and should be able to withstand the challenge of a 60-minute game. He's known as a tireless worker, and just 10 days after having surgery to repair his triceps, Lewis was back riding his bike to stay on top of his conditioning.
He also aggressively rehabbed his arm to make a return for the postseason, and he told the media that he's recovered from the injury.
"I feel healthy, and I feel great, actually," he said. "I just think where I have it now – 100 percent. I can't tell you there is no weakness in it. I can't tell you if I go out there, I might do this, I might do that. I don't think I would put myself, as well as my teammates, in that position. Have I played hurt before? Absolutely. With this injury, because of what I do so much, I don't think I would take that chance."