The Ravens placed linebacker Ray Lewis on injured reserve on Wednesday with a torn triceps muscle, but the team is using a new IR rule to keep open the possibility that Lewis could return later this season.
Lewis has been placed on the NFL’s new “reserve/injured – designated to return” list.
By using that designation, new this season and available to one player per team, Lewis could return by the end of the season. Previously, anyone being placed on IR was automatically out for the season.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Lewis was having surgery on the triceps on Wednesday.
According to the new “designated to return” list, Lewis will be eligible to return to practice in six weeks. He would be eligible to return to the active roster in eight weeks. For Lewis, that would mean in a best-case scenario, he could return Dec. 16 against Denver.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh, speaking to the media on Wednesday, cautioned against reading too much into the move, saying the new IR designation was there this year and it made sense to use it.
We have no idea ... whether that time frame has anything to do with the injury,” Harbaugh said. “Obviously it’s a very serious injury. But there’s an opportunity, and we’re going to keep the door open. and we’re going to see where it goes going forward. We really don’t know any more than that.”