Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis most likely is out for the season with a torn… (Patrick McDermott / Getty…)
This post has been updated. See below.
Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis has a full tear in his right triceps and most likely is out for the rest of the season. He has spent all 17 of his pro seasons with the Ravens, was the Super Bowl MVP in 2000, leads the team in tackles and is considered the group's emotional leader.
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss whether Lewis should call it a career. Feel free to join the conversation by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Aaron Wilson, Baltimore Sun
Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis' legendary career should logically end now due to a torn right triceps.
Rather than subject himself to a strenuous rehab and rebuild his fading game at age 38 next season, Lewis should retire and start the countdown to Canton induction in five years when he'll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Lewis' pride will make him resist this course. He'll restore his arm. He'll want to rewrite the final chapter, not ending on a meaningless tackle of Cowboys runner Phillip Tanner.
He shouldn't, though. The way he played this year illustrated he's a shell of his old vibrant self.
The sideline-to-sideline range? Gone. The ability to shed blocks consistently? Gone.
However, I believe he'll attempt a comeback. This isn't the last we've heard of Ray Lewis.
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
It’s too early for Ray Lewis to determine whether he should retire. There still exists a chance he could even play again this season. Lewis needs to have surgery to repair his triceps, go through rehab, get away from the disappointment of the circumstances and then make a decision.
He could come to the conclusion that the time is right, given his age and the fact that he has lost some of the speed and athleticism that made him special. Or he could come to the conclusion that he didn’t want to go out with an injury.
Lewis is a remarkable player and individual, and if he wants to return in 2013 to play another season, he should be able to perform at a decent level, given his experience, leadership and intelligence.
Nick Fierro, Allentown Morning Call
No way. Although he's well past the age when multiple body parts start breaking down for NFL players, Ray Lewis has remained remarkably productive. Last season, for example, he led the Ravens with 95 tackles despite missing four games with injuries. This year, he had a team-best 57 tackles, including a sack and forced fumble, before he tore his triceps.
As long as nothing else goes wrong in the interim, he’s at least earned the right to try to come back, and the Ravens probably were right not to finish him for the season. That said, he should have been out of the league after copping a plea in a shady double murder case some 12 years ago, but that’s a whole different argument.
[Updated at 1:50 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18):
Athan Atsales, Los Angeles Times
Although still a very serviceable middle linebacker, considering Ray Lewis’ declining football skills, his aging body and the battle of another year-long rehab in attempt to come back at 38 years old, it is time for Lewis to go. He has his Super Bowl ring, he has his personal accolades, and he even reinvented himself after getting mixed up in some high-profile legal issues, so his legacy is intact.
Even as a Raven, the last thing anyone wants to see is what many consider the best linebacker of all time to come back and play like … O.J. Simpson in a 49ers uniform … Joe Namath in a Rams uniform … Franco Harris in a Seahawks uniform … Emmitt Smith in a Cardinals uniform … Brett Favre in anything but a Packers uniform.… How about coming back as a statue outside the Ravens’ stadium?]