Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis returned to practice Wednesday – the next stage of the 37-year-old’s attempt to come back from a tore right triceps.
Lewis was hurt Oct. 14 against Dallas and placed on injured reserve, designated for return.
There is no timetable for his return.
• Linebacker Terrell Suggs doesn’t intend to let a torn right biceps keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.
“We kind of live by the creed of, if you can breathe then you can play,” Suggs said Wednesday.
STEELERS: Coach Mike Tomlin challenged Ben Roethlisberger to prove his sprained right shoulder is ready to go before handing the keys to the offense back to his franchise quarterback.
A few dozen passes Wednesday appears to have provided a pretty compelling argument.
Admittedly a little rusty while going through his first serious workout since injuring his shoulder and dislocating a rib during a 16-13 overtime win over Kansas City on Nov. 12, Roethlisberger reported no major issues after letting it loose and seems on track to start on Sunday against San Diego.
JETS: Rex Ryan gathered his three quarterbacks and told them he had made up his mind.
He’s sticking with Mark Sanchez.
“I have to get this decision right,” Ryan said, “and I believe I have.”
So, it will be Sanchez and not Greg McElroy or Tim Tebow on Sunday when the Jets take on the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
VIKINGS: One month after Percy Harvin severely sprained his left ankle, the team isn’t much closer to having one of its most important players back on the field.
Coach Leslie Frazier didn’t rule out the possibility of Harvin missing the rest of the season.
SEAHAWKS: Cornerback Brandon Browner has dropped the appeal of his suspension for using performance-enhancing substances and will miss the final four games of the regular season.
BELCHER TRAGEDY: The days since Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend then shot himself in the head have been very difficult for his mother, who said that the slayings have not diminished her love for the couple.
Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, had been living with the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins to help care for their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, and was at the couple’s home Saturday when Perkins was shot.
“That’s my son, and I love him,” Shepherd said in a brief telephone conversation Wednesday. “She’s my daughter-in-law, just like my daughter.”
Shepherd said she was not happy about the release Wednesday of recordings of the emergency phone call she made Saturday after Perkins was shot.
“I just got a phone call that they did that, and I don’t appreciate it,” she said.
In the emergency call, Shepherd begs Perkins to “stay with me” while frantically asking for an ambulance.
When a police dispatcher asked about Belcher, Shepherd says only: “He left.”
Police arrived at the home about 7:50 a.m. They said in an incident report that they found Perkins’ body on the floor of the master bathroom. She had been shot multiple times.
Shepherd, who has temporary custody of the couple’s baby, said she and Perkins were very close.
“She was a lovely, beautiful young woman. And we had a beautiful relationship,” Shepherd said.
The estate or guardian of Belcher’s 3-month-old daughter will receive more than $1 million under terms of the NFL’s collective-bargaining agreement.
The child stands to receive $108,000 annually over the next four years, $48,000 in the fifth year and then $52,000 each year until age 18. She’ll continue to receive that amount until age 23 if she attends college.
The beneficiary of Belcher, who was in his fourth season, also will receive $600,000 in life insurance, plus $200,000 for each credited season. There is also $100,000 in a retirement account that will go to his beneficiary or estate.
Players’ beneficiaries are kept confidential.
Shepherd said family members have been helping her a great deal since the shootings, but that she had trouble eating and sleeping while working on her son’s funeral arrangements.
Mourners, including several Chiefs players, attended an hourlong private memorial service for Belcher on Wednesday in Kansas City. Retired Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell said afterward that Pioli and Belcher’s uncle spoke during the service. He said it was “rough” on Pioli.
“This is a sad situation,” Bell said. “You never want to be put under those situations. Never. It’s not good. You don’t want to see things like that. I don’t know how they got through it.”