From Comcast SportsNetOWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- The Baltimore Ravens haven't completely abandoned hope of having Ray Lewis back in uniform this season.Lewis tore his right triceps in Sunday's game against Dallas and was scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday. Although coach John Harbaugh said Monday that the 37-year-old linebacker is out for the year, the Ravens placed Lewis on injured reserve with the "designated to return" tag.Wednesday's move makes Lewis eligible to return in six weeks. He does notcountagainst the 53-man roster."We have no idea whether that time frame has anything to do with the injury, but there's an opportunity and we're going to keep the door open," Harbaugh said. "We'll just see where that goes moving forward."The loss of Lewis coincides with the return of linebacker Terrell Suggs, the 2011 NFL defensive player of the year. Suggs practiced Wednesday for the first time this season aftermissingmonths with a torn right Achilles tendon.Suggs is still favoring his right leg, so the Ravens aren't expecting much from him too soon."To what extent, to what he's able to do, I think we should temper our expectations a little bit," Harbaugh said. "He's coming off a very serious injury. I think he's worked really hard. He's done a great job withthe rehab, he's followed protocol. He had no setbacks throughout the course of the whole deal."To fill the void left by Lewis' removal from the roster, the Ravens activated linebacker Josh Bynes from their practice squad.Lewis leads the Ravens in tackles and is the unquestioned leader not only of the defense, but of the entire team.Asked who might assume the leadership role, Harbaugh replied, "You replace that with 53 guys. ... Ray is still with us. He'll be around and be a part of what we're doing."
FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowsi had what was, for him, an incredibly quiet game against the Texans on Thursday. He saw 14 snaps and ran just one route. He did see a target from rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett when he ran that route, but it floated high over his head and sailed out of the end zone incomplete.
In his first game action since suffering a hamstring injury on Aug. 15, the Patriots chose to being their All-Pro tight end along slowly, but he's hoping that he'll be more involved in the very near future.
"You’ve got to be careful with any injury, but I mean, if you research hamstrings, if you know anything about hamstrings, you’ve definitely got to be careful," he said. "You’ve got to progress. You can’t just hop back in and be full-go 100 percent. I wish it was like that. I can’t wait until I’m going freakin' crazy out there again. So I’m just progressing myself into it and feeling better every single day."
Gronkowski was back on the practice field for his team's workout in full pads on Wednesday. He was spotted running through drills and catching passes from tight ends coach Brian Daboll, and he did not appear to be visibly limited. After running around in a game, albeit briefly, Gronkowski explained that he experienced no setbacks.
"I felt good, definitely," Gronkowski said of playing under the lights. "You’re always sore no matter what after playing a game. No matter if you play 10 plays or 70 plays, [you’re] definitely sore like any other game. But no setbacks. No nothing. Feeling good and just progressing every day."
Regardless of who happens to be playing quarterback for the Patriots against the Bills on Sunday -- whether it's Jimmy Garoppolo or Brissett, both of whom practiced Wednesday -- having Gronkowski on the field and closer to his usual level of participation should help.
"They’re doing very well, very excellent," Gronkowski said of Garoppolo and Brissett's performances with Tom Brady out. "Every single day, they’re just trying to improve and progress every day. This week, you just see everyone throughout the team, everyone is just trying to progress . . . The coaches do a great job of getting the quarterbacks prepared. If there is something there that we need to get on the same page with the quarterbacks on, we’ll talk, but the coaches do an excellent job of getting the quarterbacks ready."
Three takeaways from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday night . . .
1) Long relief may be short for the Red Sox in the postseason
The news that Drew Pomeranz won't start Thursday and is dealing with forearm soreness was ominous -- to say the least. While the Sox aren't concerned enough to order up an MRI for the lefty, it seems a fair bet that he won't pitch again this season. Pomeranz wasn't going to crack the postseason rotation and would likely have been relegated to relief duty. Now, even that seems a stretch.
Add that development to the continued absence of Steven Wright and the Red Sox are missing 40 percent of their rotation from late July and early August.
Healthy, both would have been stretched-out and available to provide multiple innings in the postseason.
Of course, most teams would prefer to not have to rely on long men in the postseason, since their very appearance in a game would signifiy that a starter got knocked out early.
When that happens, however, it's nice to have experienced, dependable arms to cover innings and not impact the bullpen's high-leverage pitchers.
Now, in such a scenario, the Sox will likely have to turn to either Robbie Ross Jr. or Heath Hembree.
2) Is Aaron Hill heating up?
In the month of September, Hill has posted a line of .381/.409/.571. On Tuesday night, he blasted a pinch-hit homer.
Admittedly, that's a relatively small sample size. But Hill has had better at-bats of late, especially against lefties.
It's doubtful that he'll take over third base -- now or in the postseason -- full-time, since John Farrell has two left-handed hitting options, with Travis Shaw and Brock Holt. Shaw certainly more power and has shown the ability to go on hot streaks at the plate.
But Hill is a veteran player, albeit one with little postseason experience (11 at-bats in the Division Series for Arizona in 2011) for a 12-year veteran.
And one other benefit: Hill is a .373 career hitter as a pinch-hitter, making him a valuable part off the bench in games started by either Holt or Shaw.
3) One loss is all it took for the second-guessing to resurface
The Sox had won 11 straight before Tuesday's loss, which quickly re-introduced criticism of Farrell.
Starter David Price had given up four runs through six innings, but the Sox rallied for two runs off Tommy Layne in the seventh to tie things at 4-4.
At 76 pitches, Price went back out for the seventh and promptly yielded a two-run homer to Tyler Austin, giving the Yanks another two-run lead.
Price hadn't been sharp in the first six. With expanded rosters, plenty of available relievers and a rested bullpen after a day off Monday, why stick with Price?
Offered Farrell: "You go with a right-hander they’re going to go with [Mark] Teixeira and [Brian] McCann with that right-field porch,” Farrell said. “Wanted to keep the (right-handed hitters) in the ballgame, (but Price) mislocated over the plate.”