Dannell Ellerbe makes a difference in his return

Timing up his blitz perfectly to coincide with the snap, Ravens inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe barreled through the center-guard gap to deck New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning for a 9-yard loss Sunday.

Although the first-quarter sack was nullified because outside linebacker Terrell Suggs jumped offsides, Ellerbe did signal that he has recovered from a sprained right ankle that had sidelined him for the previous three games.

“There was nothing I could say to him at that point, he already knew how I felt,” Ellerbe said of Suggs' penalty. “He said something like, ‘Sorry, man. My bad.’ So, I said, ‘It’s all right."

Ellerbe finished with five tackles, tying with cornerback Cary Williams for the most on the defense during the Ravens' 33-14 victory over the Giants on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Giants only rushed for 67 yards while Manning was sacked three times and hit a total of nine times, a season-high for quarterback hits for Baltimore.

"Yeah, it feels great to be back," Ellerbe said. "I felt all right."

The return of Ellerbe provided a boost to a defense that has been lacking an all-around run-stuffing and blitzing presence. Ellerbe has 86 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks for the season despite dealing with a broken thumb, a sprained thumb, a left foot injury and the right ankle problem.

“Yes, he was in there," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He timed that up really well. Ellerbe played well. Dannell has played well all year when he’s played, and getting him healthy is a big plus for our defense.”

At one point, Ellerbe limped off the field and tested his ankle out on the sideline before walking it off and going back into the game.

"It's fine, it's not bad," Ellerbe said. "It's good enough to go."

awilson@baltsun.com

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