The Baltimore Ravens could be without their top rusher for part of the regular season, as Jamal Lewis's drug conspiracy trial has been set for Nov. 1 in Atlanta.
The trial date falls between the eighth and ninth weeks of the NFL season. Baltimore will play at Philadelphia on Oct. 31, and will host Cleveland on Nov. 7 in an ESPN Sunday night game.
"I will be here," Lewis said. "That is all I can tell you."
Lewis was indicted on federal drug conspiracy charges in February. He and a childhood friend, Angelo Jackson, were charged with conspiring to possess, with the intent to distribute, five kilograms of cocaine and using a cell phone in the commission of that act.
"I wanted [the trial] to happen sooner rather than later," Lewis said. "For me, I just want to get it out of the way. . . . It's set for November and that's when we have to handle it. I have a long season ahead of me, and we will handle it as it comes along."
Lewis, who ran for the second-most yards in league history last season with 2,066, said during minicamp in June that he thinks it would be possible for him to go from the trial to the game, similar to what Kobe Bryant did this past season with the Los Angeles Lakers. But Coach Brian Billick has expressed doubts about such a schedule.
"There's some finality to it, that's great," Billick said about the trial date being set. "And we'll deal with it."