Monday, February 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis 'agitated" over performance-enhancing drug story

NEW ORLEANS — Ray Lewis is "agitated."

Not because the Ravens linebacker believes the report linking him to a performance-enhancing substance will affect his play.

Rather, Lewis did not want to spend time discussing the topic as he did Wednesday, when his denials meant the matter intruded for a second day.

"It's so funny of a story because I never, ever took what he says or whatever I was supposed to do," Lewis said. "And it's just sad … that someone can have this much attention on a stage this big, where the dreams are really real."

He smiled when the first question was about the topic then chuckled later while addressing it. Known for his frequent references to God and faith, Lewis called the episode a "joke" and a "trick of the devil," adding he told teammates: "Don't let people from the outside ever come and try to disturb what's inside."

Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday that Lewis talked to a company called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids, which says its deer-antler spray and pills contain a naturally occurring banned product connected to human growth hormone.

SI reported company owner Mitch Ross recorded a call with Lewis a few hours after he tore his right triceps Oct. 14. According to the report, Lewis asked Ross to send him deer antler spray and pills along with other items made by the company.

Wednesday, Lewis called Ross a coward and said he "has no credibility."

Told by a reporter he seemed angry, Lewis replied: "Me? Never angry. I'm too blessed to be stressed. Nah. You're not angry. You can use a different word. You can use the word 'agitated,' because I'm here to win the Super Bowl. I'm not here to entertain somebody that does not affect that one way or another."

Injuries: San Francisco starting LB Ahmad Brooks said he missed two practices last week and was limited Wednesday because of a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. He added he will play Sunday. Starting LB Aldon Smith also was limited by a shoulder injury, but the team declined to disclose details.

Two Ravens starters, LB Dannell Ellerbe and TE Dennis Pitta practiced despite a sore ankle and thigh, respectively.

Favre on TV: Brett Favre will join the NFL Network for its coverage Sunday.

Deflecting credit: Asked about the 49ers' skill position players, coach Jim Harbaugh, instead, changed the subject to the offensive line.

"That's been a phenomenal group for us," said Harbaugh, who during his long answer mentioned every lineman by name. "I'd call them offensive weapons as well. They've been instrumental all year in our extra O-linemen packages, contributions on special teams. The way they have plugged in at guard, tight end and at the extra tight end position has been huge for us."

Officials: Jerome Boger will be the game's referee. It will be the first Super Bowl for Boger, who entered the league as a line judge in 2004 and was promoted to referee in 2006. The other officials announced: Darrell Jenkins (umpire), Steve Stelljes (head linesman), Byron Boston (line judge), Craig Wrolstad (field judge), Joe Larrew (side judge) and Dino Paganelli (back judge).

Newtown presence: The chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary, where 20 children and six adults were killed in a Dec. 14 shooting, will sing America the Beautiful before the game.

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