Ravens All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis didn't return to practice Thursday, the first day he was eligible to be activated from the injured reserve-designated to return list.
Lewis underwent surgery on a torn right triceps suffered Oct. 14 against the Dallas Cowboys. Lewis is eligible to play in his first game Dec. 16 against the Denver Broncos, when Peyton Manning comes to town.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh characterized Lewis' status as "day by day," noting "he's not imminent to return to play or anything like that."
A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Lewis is regarded as ahead of schedule. He could return to practice on a limited basis as soon as next week.
However, he won't be a part of the Ravens' plans for Sunday's kickoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lewis is expected to return before the start of the playoffs, according to Harbaugh.
"If he gets out to practice, it would be pretty amazing," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "The guy, to me, is my modern day Superman. Why is he coming back? People ask that question all the time. He's coming back because he firmly believes that this is a team that can go ahead and do it.
"He does it for us. He's not doing it for the stats. He's not doing it for the fame. He's doing it solely because he loves the Ravens, he loves his teammates (and) he loves this organization."