Following the Baltimore Ravens' 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys, the Ravens were delivered a gut punch in the loss of their defensive quarterback, Ray Lewis, for the rest of the season. Lewis tore his right triceps during the win and was given the bad news after the game.
"Ray in the locker room afterward, we didn't know (the extent of the injury) but he was worried about it," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "He said some things about his faith. He said some things that I'll never forget."
At 37 years old, the aged vet still led the team in tackles this season and was the heart and soul of a defensive unit known for its skill and ferocity. His loss, along with cornerback Lardarius Webb, who will also miss the remainder of the season to injury, dampened any celebration that the win would bring.
"I'm disappointed for those guys," Harbaugh said, speaking of the impact of the injuries to Lewis and Webb. "It doesn't matter how I or someone else feels about it. It's their thing. These are guys that put so much effort, heart and soul into what they do."
Lewis missed four games last season also with a toe injury and used those off weeks to motivate his teammates from the sideline. That role is one that he will likely play for the remainder of the season.
"When you look at his situation and what he's accomplished, and what he was hoping to accomplish this year, he's going to have to accomplish those things in different ways because that's the way it's gone," Harbaugh said. "He puts his faith in providence. That's where he's going to go with that."
With the loss of the season and his advancing football age, there are already speculation that this may be a career ending injury for Lewis. If that were to be the case, then Lewis would more than likely be a first ballot Hall of Fame selection when he became eligible.
For his 17 year career, Lewis has been invited to 13 Pro Bowls, was named Super Bowl MVP and is a two-time NFL defensive player of the year.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty