|Ravens star LB Ray Lewis reportedly told the team on Friday that he's on track to return this season, should the club make a deep playoff run. (US Presswire)|
Linebacker Ray Lewis returned to Baltimore's training facility for the first time since tearing his right triceps in Week 6 against Dallas.
Lewis has been rehabbing his injury away from the Ravens' complex but made a surprise visit Friday. Following practice, Lewis broke down the team huddle, telling his teammates that he's still planning to return if the current group can make a deep run this postseason.
"It's great to see the leader, the general of your army, out there," linebacker Terrell Suggs told CBSSports.com. "He let us know he's on pace to come back. If we handle business, he'll be back in a Ravens uniform this year. We have to do our part, though."
Coach John Harbaugh didn't know he was arriving and admitted he was caught off guard a tad when he saw Lewis on the practice field watching his teammates practice.
"It was great to see Ray," Harbaugh said. "All of a sudden, I look back and there's Ray Lewis. He's doing well. He gave a great talk."
Lewis was placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list, meaning there's a chance he could return to the 53-man roster late in the year.
Lewis released a statement after returning to the facility, saying he's happy to be back with his teammates.
“I've really missed these guys and the feel of being around the team and in the locker room," Lewis said. "I am focused on rehabbing and getting my arm and body as strong as they can be. I will speak in person when I know a little more about my progress. I'm working hard and looking forward to coming back and helping this team. But right now, the focus should be on the guys playing, and I'll be the biggest cheerleader I can be for them.”
With Lewis out of the lineup, Dannell Ellerbe has filled in as a starter and has led the team in tackles the past two games (18 tackles, one sack).
Right guard Marshal Yanda said it was good to see Lewis return to the facility Friday, saying Lewis gave another one his trademark speeches.
"It was inspirational," Yanda said. "He always gives inspirational speeches. He gave a couple of key points to think about and hold in there."
Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter: @CBSRavens and @JasonButtCBS.