The worst fears of the Baltimore Ravens came true on Monday as head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that inside linebacker Ray Lewis will miss the remainder of the 2012 season.
Lewis suffered a torn triceps in his right arm in the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. The 13-time Pro Bowler and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year will be placed on injured reserve for the third time in his career, with his other two I.R. stints coming in 2002 and 2005.
"He said some things about his faith," Harbaugh said about Lewis' initial reaction to the injury, according to the team's official website. "And he said some things that I'll never forget. 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."
Lewis turns 38 next May and a season-ending injury puts his long-term future, both with the Ravens and the National Football League, in doubt. Lewis is earning $4.95 million in base salary this season and is signed through the 2015 season with base salaries of $5.4 million (2013), $5.85 million (2014) and $6.3 million in 2015.
Harbaugh was not eager to discuss Lewis' future on Monday.
"You know I'm not going to make any comment on that. That's for Ray to speak on. I admire Ray Lewis. I've said that many times. I think everybody in this room does. Everybody that knows him feels that way. I look forward to seeing what he says about that."
In the short term, with Lewis out, the Ravens will rely on Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe at inside linebacker and could possibly add first-year linebacker Josh Bynes off the practice squad, where the former Auburn standout has been earning $7,000 per week, a noteworthy increase over the $5,700 per week minimum.