R. Lewis could be out until late November

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis will be out until at least Nov. 20 due to a thigh injury he suffered last week in a loss to the Chicago Bears, coach Brian Billick confirmed Saturday.

Under a four-week prognosis, which has already ruled out Lewis for Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Lewis wouldn't be available until the Ravens play the Steelers at home next month. In a worst-case scenario, Lewis could be out until perhaps as long as Dec. 4 against the Houston Texans.

Lewis had a high hamstring pull in his right thigh heading into the Chicago game, which has now spread to the lower portion of his leg. Although this injury is considered more treatable, it's unlikely that Lewis will be available for a large chunk of the most arduous portion of the Ravens' schedule.

Meanwhile, Billick said that the team hopes that Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed, who's out for Monday with a high-ankle sprain, could return as soon as next week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Because of soreness in quarterback Kyle Boller's right big toe that he hyperextended in the season opener, he was ruled out for Monday's game. Boller was supposed to at least be the third quarterback and Billick had hoped he could back up starter Anthony Wright. The team remains optimistic that Boller might be available against the Bengals next week.

Defensive end Tony Weaver (toe) was downgraded from questionable to doubtful and won't play Monday. Defensive end Jarret Johnson (back) and nose guard Maake Kemoeatu (leg) were added to the injury report with probable listings.

Billick was noncommittal on whether rookie wide receiver Mark Clayton (ankle) will be available Monday, and Randy Hymes is likely to start for the second consecutive week.

Billick explained that fullback Alan Ricard was placed on injured reserve because injuries to both calf muscles never allowed either leg to adequately heal. Because of an extended rehabilitation period required by the unusual situation of having both legs injured, Ricard wasn't liable to recover fully for two months.

Former Ravens offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh still keeps in touch with Billick after being dismissed following Baltimore finishing last in total offense in 2004. Although Baltimore has been installed as a 10-point underdog for Monday, Cavanaugh predicts a strong effort from the Ravens against their arch-rivals.

"He's going to cry, 'Poor boy,' this week: 'We don't have the horses. We're missing some people,'" Cavanaugh told Pittsburgh reporters regarding Billick. "But inside that building, they're going to be getting ready to play and put on a good show."

NOTES: For Wright, another former Steelers quarterback along with Kordell Stewart and Brian St. Pierre, this game represents his first start in Pittsburgh, which signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1999. "I enjoyed the time that I was there," Wright said. "They gave me my first start in the NFL. It's always fun to go back and play that team." ... Wright made a curious statement while attempting to defend an offense that ranks worst in the NFL in scoring with 11.5 points per game. The Ravens are the only team in the NFL that hasn't scored 20 points in a game. "We didn't score a touchdown this past week, but we did the week before," Wright said. "We haven't been putting up 30, 40 points, but we have been scoring points. I think you're looking at one game and trying to judge an entire season. We maybe had one game where we didn't do a whole lot on offense, but we've scored a few points here and there." ... Boller, Weaver, Clayton, Johnson and Kemoeatu were held out of team drills Saturday. ... Fullback Ovie Mughelli (questionable, ankle) returned to practice, but rookie Justin Green will still start his first NFL game. ... The Steelers upgraded defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen (shoulder) from questionable to probable.

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