|Lewis hasn't missed a start since the 2007 season. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
As has happened pretty much since the organization arrived from Cleveland in the mid-1990s, the defense has been among the best in the league, doing their part to annually keep the Ravens in the playoff race. In a critical AFC North matchup Sunday, Baltimore will be without one of their best players: linebacker Ray Lewis, who won't play because of a toe injury. It gets worse: Lewis could be sidelined for two to four games, which includes the Thanksgiving Day Harbaugh get-together when the Ravens host the 49ers.
The Ravens are coming off their worst loss of the season in Seattle, which is saying something given that they have also dropped games to the Titans and the Jaguars. If we're pointing fingers, the offense -- and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron -- is primarily responsible. Now the offense will be tasked with carrying the team.
NFL Network's Jason La Canfora provided details during Sunday's GameDay Morning.
"Talked to team officials there, they don't believe that doctors would've let (Lewis) play even if Ray went through one of his two-hour marathon sessions to try to convince people he could play," La Canfora said. "But they're not ruling him out for Thursday. He told team officials 'I feel like I'm going to play in one of these two games.'
"People in (the organization) … said they know Ray, they believe he'll play (on Thursday)."
Depending on what happens against the Bengals, who will be without rookie wideout A.J. Green, Ray's return could come too late for the Ravens. If they lose to Cincy, they'll drop to third in the division; if they win, they'll be first.
Dannell Ellerbe will replace Lewis in the lineup Sunday.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.