Report: Lewis could return earlier than expected

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, sidelined with a torn triceps, may return to practice this week and could be back in the lineup before the conclusion of the regular season.

The Ravens placed Lewis on injured reserve with a designation to return after he sustained the injury in a Week 6 game against Dallas back in October. He underwent surgery soon after and the Ravens hoped the future Hall of Famer would return some time this season, possibly for the playoffs.

A torn triceps is often considered a season-ending injury.

Lewis is eligible to begin practicing this Thursday, six weeks after being placed on the newly created IR, and Yahoo! Sports cited more than a half dozen sources as saying the 37-year-old veteran could be on the field for workouts. He is still not eligible for game action for another two weeks, according to the new rules, meaning he could return for the Week 15 contest against Denver.

It is also possible, with Baltimore owning a three-game lead in the AFC North, the Ravens could hold Lewis out until the playoffs in January.

The 17-year veteran out of Miami-Florida has totaled 57 tackles and one sack this season.