Lewis Lets Himself Go In Madden Holiday Ad
Ray Lewis has let himself go.
Clearly focused on one objective – beating "best friend" Paul Rudd in a Madden rivalry that seems to have no end – Lewis has* *failed to shave in months and doesn't even know what time of year it is.
"Is it Christmas?" Rudd asks as the two sit in a poorly-lit room playing the game with only a few Christmas lights and the flickering TV to brighten the atmosphere.
"I don't know," responds a glazed-over Lewis, who is sporting an unkempt afro and a scraggly beard resembling that of Moses.
Lewis can't seem to beat Rudd – ever – and that trend continues into December. This time, his loss was accompanied by a new Christmas tune sung by Rudd:
"You just fa la la la la la la la la lost."
Ravens Need Lewis ASAP
It's a good thing Lewis hasn't let himself go in real life because the Ravens need him to return as soon as possible, says ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
Reports surfaced yesterday that the 17-year veteran is expected to return to practice today, which would mark the Ravens' second miraculous injury recovery this season (Terrell Suggs' Achilles tear). Lewis was originally expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his triceps muscle, but less than seven weeks removed, it looks like he could be on his way back.
Even though Lewis isn't eligible to play in a game until Dec. 16 vs. the Broncos, seeing Lewis on the practice field would give a morale boost to a team that lost at home Sunday for the first time in 15 games and may again be without reigning Defensive Player of the Year Suggs (more on that below).
Baltimore was down to reserves Brendon Ayanbadejo, Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan against the Steelers last week with Lewis and his replacement, Dannell Ellerbe, nursing injuries. McClellan said that Ellerbe's absence is "a big loss" on defense.
"Without Lewis or Ellerbe in the middle, a below-average run defense is even more vulnerable," Hensley wrote.
That's not a good sign with the Washington Redskins' top ranked rush offense next up on the Ravens' schedule.
We heard similar reports last week of Lewis returning. Ravens fans will be hoping they turn out to be true this time.
Suggs With Family As He Awaits Word From Doctors
As of last night at 8 p.m., Suggs was still awaiting word from doctors as to whether he can play through the reported biceps tear he suffered in the fourth quarter of the Steelers matchup.
Per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, Suggs is anticipating "specific input and advice" from physicians to get further information on top of what team doctors have given.
"The fact that Suggs immediately sought a second opinion doesn't mean that the first opinion suggested that he should, or shouldn't, play," Florio wrote. "Instead, it was an automatic decision aimed at getting a broad perspective that doesn't include the doctors who are paid by the team."
Tuesday is given to players for their day off, and Suggs kept his Twitter followers informed of what he was doing throughout the day. It was his son's birthday yesterday, and he spent quality father-son time as he awaited word.
"4 Years ago today a lil boy [was] born that made me a better man. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DUKE LAMARIOUS SUGGS! Daddy Loves You!!!," Suggs tweeted.
He later added: "Despite everything, I'm havin an amazing day with my kids!
Suggs took his kids to the Heat-Wizards game last night, which is where Robert Griffin III, the quarterback he'd like to be chasing Sunday, also happened to be.
Cardinals Cut Ties With Heap
The Arizona Cardinals released tight end Todd Heap, bringing an end to the former Raven's two-year stint in the desert. They cut Heap in order to sign former San Diego Chargers tight end Kory Sperry.
Just like his final seasons in Baltimore, the former All-Pro couldn't get healthy enough to play consistently. He only appeared in two games this season for the Cardinals, notching eight receptions for 94 yards.
Heap was one catch away from 500 career receptions.
Heap played for the Ravens for 10 seasons after they drafted him in the first round out of Arizona State in 2001. Fans are already speculating that Baltimore could re-sign Heap on a one-year deal so he can retire a Raven, according to CSNBaltimore.com's Jeff Seidel. But it's unclear whether Heap plans on retiring or will try to make the roster of another team.
Timing Couldn't Be Worse To Draw Redskins
Could the timing be any worse?
"RG3! RG3! RG3!'' was the chant of 80,000 fans at FedEx Field as the rookie quarterback led the Redskins to an electric Monday Night Football win over their NFL East rival the New York Giants.
Just 16 days ago, the Redskins were 3-6, but have now won three straight and are riding high as they get ready to host the Ravens, who are coming off a painful loss to its biggest rival. Baltimore can expect a feisty and optimistic Washington team that needs the win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Griffin, who finished off the Giants with a touchdown pass to receiver Pierre Garçon to cap off a 12-play, 86-yard drive, is primed to take on the ailing Ravens defense.
"He picked apart the Giants whenever they couldn't get pressure on him, and he was also very effective throwing the ball after play fakes," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. "If Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch could pick the Ravens apart, imagine what this kid might do if they don't pressure him."
Both Ravens and Redskins insiders of CSN, J. Michael and Tarik El-Bashir, agree that the timing couldn't be worse for Baltimore to take on its Beltway rival.
Power Rankings: Week 14
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: No. 5, no movement
"I worry about that offense. They just don't do enough and the defense isn't what it was in the past."
ESPN.com: No. 6, moved down two spots
"Will the Ravens have to face RG3 without their best defensive player? Terrell Suggs is dealing with a torn biceps."
Brian Billick, Foxsports.com: No. 7, moved down one spot
"It shouldn't be surprising that the Ravens and Steelers came down to the last second as seven of Baltimore's 12 games have been decided by three points or fewer, but it should be somewhat concerning that the Steelers beat Baltimore with a third-string quarterback."
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: No. 6, moved down two spots
"Bad loss for the Baltimore Ravens, and some serious thought went into dropping them further. The Ravens lost at home to Charlie Batch with a chance to almost sew up the division. Given how easy a remaining schedule the Broncos have, the Ravens must beat Denver in Baltimore in Week 15, or any hope for a playoff bye is gone."
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com: No. 8, moved down three spots
"It's a good thing they play well on the road in the postseason. They eventually may have to. Every week."
Peter King, Sports Illustrated: No. 6, moved down three spots
"Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron wouldn't like to meet the Twitter followers of mine who are Ravens fans. Let's just say they were a tad upset that Cameron called 37 pass plays and 12 Ray Rice rushes in Sunday's loss to the Steelers."
- @edbouchette [Pittsburgh-Post Gazette]: #Steelers Tomlin on shake with #Ravens Harbaugh: "I was in a hurry" to get to the locker room to greet the players. Hmmm. [Twitter]
- I couldn't pass this one up. Head Coach John Harbaugh's brother, Jim, was in a "Saved By The Bell" episode when he was the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. He played the role of* *Screech's cousin. Classic. [USAToday]
- @pmgleason [Ravens PR]: Here are the rushing yards for @RayRice27 through 12 games in each of the past 4 years... 2012: 872, 2011: 926, 2010: 844, 2009: 875 [Twitter]
- @pmgleason: @RayRice27 has posted an NFL-high 1,646 rushing yards in Dec./Jan. games since 2009. The Titans' Chris Johnson is next at 1,400. [Twitter]
- Jeff Zrebiec breaks down the four-way race for the AFC bye weeks. [The Baltimore Sun]