Ravens ILB Ray Lewis said Wednesday, “this will be my last ride,” indicating the 17-year veteran will retire.
The Ravens host the Colts in the wild-card round of the playoffs on Sunday.
Lewis has not played since Week Six when he tore his triceps. The Ravens placed him on the injured reserve list with a designation to return and he was recently activated to the 53-man roster.
“I’ve ran my course. It’s time for me to go create a different legacy,” Lewis told reporters Wednesday. Lewis did not confirm if he would play on Sunday.
In his 17 seasons, Lewis has 1,336 tackles, 41½ sacks, 31 interceptions and 17 forced fumbles. He is a 13-time Pro Bowler and a seven-time first-team All-Pro.
The way we see it
In the short term, Lewis’ expected return will help a Ravens defense that has struggled with injuries all season. However, the Ravens enter the postseason off two strong defensive performances in a row, and they were able to rest some key regulars in Week 17. While Lewis isn’t the dynamic playmaker he was earlier in his career, he’s still a capable performer, and the Ravens need all hands on deck as the playoffs begin.
In the long term, Lewis’ expected departure leaves the Ravens perhaps in need of bolstering the ranks at inside linebacker. Veteran ILB Dannell Ellerbe also will be a free agent; if he’s re-signed, Ellerbe and Jameel McClain could be the starters inside next season.