Source: Ray Lewis back Dec. 16

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, sidelined with a torn triceps, is expected to return Dec. 16 to face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, a team source told ESPN Friday.

Lewis, who is on the injured reserve/designated to return list, is eligible to return to the lineup that day. He was eligible to begin practicing Thursday, but did not.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh has classified Lewis' status as "day by day."

"He is not imminent to return to play (in a game) or anything like that, so to me it's really a nonstory," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "He'll go out there when he's ready to practice when the elbow holds up. And when that happens, we'll let you know."

Lewis, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP, tore his triceps in the Oct. 14 game against the Cowboys, and had it surgically repaired three days later. Harbaugh at one point described the injury as season-ending.

The Ravens (9-2), who own a three-game lead in the AFC North, have gone 4-1 without Lewis in the lineup. Baltimore can clinch the division this week with a win over Pittsburgh and a Cincinnati loss at San Diego.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder was used in this report.