Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis missed Sunday’s win over the Bengals with a foot injury. It’s unclear whether he’ll play on Thursday night against the 49ers.
He has opted to pass on being questioned about it by the media on Tuesday, issuing a statement explaining his decision to violate a fairly basic NFL requirement: being available to the press once during the week and after every game.
“I apologize for not being available as I normally am on a day like today, but I am taking every opportunity to get treatment on my foot to prepare to play on Thursday,” Lewis said in a statement released by the team. “Anytime you see your team on the field, you always want to be out there with them. As the leader of your team, it doesn’t sit well with me to be on the sidelines. But I was the biggest cheerleader out there on Sunday, and I was truly proud of the way we played as a team. I am doing everything in my power to get back as fast as I can, whether that’s this week, next week or whenever it is, I am doing everything I can to be out there with my team. I want to play Thursday night, and I am making some progress.”
Technically, Lewis can be fined by the league office. I doubt that he’d care. And I further doubt that anyone from the Baltimore media will complain, which usually is a prerequisite to the imposition of a fine.
As to Ray’s health, there are rumors he won’t play again this year. Coach John Harbaugh recently dismissed that possibility in comments to Peter King of SI.com and Football Night in America. Still, the decision of Lewis to say “this week, next week or whenever it is” will do nothing to diminish speculation that he could miss significant time.