Lewis activated but still not playing Sunday

The Ravens activated linebacker Ray Lewis from the injured reserve-designated to return list, but the middle linebacker isn't playing in the regular-season finale.

So why did Baltimore take Lewis off injured reserve? The Ravens essentially had to do this today to make him eligible for the playoffs. Lewis, who had surgery on his torn triceps in October, returned to practice Dec. 5, which gave the team a 21-day window before having to make a decision. Baltimore either had to activate him today or end his season.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh has already ruled out Lewis for Sunday's game at Cincinnati. There's really no incentive for Lewis to play even if he was healthy enough to suit up. The Ravens have already clinched the division and can't improve to a top-two seed, which gets a first-round bye.

There's also no guarantee that Lewis will play in the Ravens' first-round playoff game.

"We can’t say right now for sure,” Harbaugh said last Sunday.

The Ravens have been hurting at linebacker this month. Jameel McClain (spinal cord contusion) is out for the season, and Dannell Ellerbe returned Sunday after missing three games with an ankle injury.