Ravens offensive guard Alex Lewis returned to practice on Friday, almost a month to the day after he suffered a right ankle injury against the Cleveland Browns.
Lewis’ recovery is ahead of schedule, considering coach John Harbaugh initially estimated the high ankle sprain to be a six-week injury. Even as recently as Monday, Harbaugh said Lewis was “a good ways away” from returning.
“He’s done a great job” on his rehabilitation, Harbaugh said after Friday’s workout, adding that Lewis has been at it “practically 24/7. … To see him back out there today is a real plus. Credit to him.”
Lewis was carted off the field when the injury occurred, leading some to speculate his promising rookie season could be over.
“We’ve been in there working, trying to get treatment, trying to back out there as quick as I can,” Lewis said on Friday. “I want to be part of the fun. I want to get out there and win some games with the fellas.”
Lewis is unlikely to suit up Monday night at New England, and his role after that remains unclear; Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda has taken Lewis’ spot at left guard, in large part because it allows Yanda to play through an injured shoulder.
Lewis was the Ravens starting left guard when the season began, and then started three games at left tackle while Ronnie Stanley was injured. The Ravens went through a stretch where they started a different offensive line in eight straight games, but have now found some consistency with an offensive line group that has not included Lewis.
Yanda is likely to stay at left guard, and veteran Vladimir Ducasse has filled Yanda’s spot at right guard.
Presumably Lewis would be an option to play on the right side, although he said he not played right guard since high school.
“If that’s my calling card, then I’ll do it,” he said.
Harbaugh said given the injuries the Ravens have had up front this year, having a surplus of healthy linemen would be a nice problem to have.
“(Lewis) being added to the mix is going to be a plus,” he said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes as we go forward.”