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Ray Lewis Played Five Snaps With Torn Triceps

Posted Oct 19, 2012

Film shows Ray Lewis' hanging right arm before he ultimately came off the field.


If Sunday truly was Ray Lewis’ final game, add this to the tough guy’s legacy:

Film shows Lewis played five snaps after tearing his right triceps. He made what could be his final tackle one-handed, knowing he had a serious injury.

He didn’t even want to come off the field with his right arm essentially useless and presumably shooting with pain.

Lewis eventually took himself to the sideline during Sunday’s game after tackling Cowboys third-string running back Phillip Tanner. It was at the fourth quarter two-minute warning, and the Ravens were clinging to an eight-point lead.

Tanner got up barking at Lewis after a 6-yard gain. Lewis paid him no attention and trudged off the field, not showing he was in pain.

"It killed Ray to come out of the game the other night – killed him,” said Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees, who confirmed that Lewis was injured before he came off the field.

"I could see it in his eyes when he was walking off the field.

Coaches film available for public viewing shows that Lewis first suffered the injury more than a minute earlier in the fourth quarter. Here’s the sequence:

The Injury (3:16): Lewis blitzes on the right side of the offense and leaps with both arms up to try to swat the pass. Lewis comes down and his right arm looks to hit Cowboys guard Mackenzy Beradeau, who also gives the linebacker a shove. Lewis’ right shoulder immediately slumps.

Play 1 (2:32): Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo throws a short pass to the opposite side of Lewis. Lewis dropped in coverage and wasn’t in on the play. He jogs towards the ball with his right arm hanging.

Play 2 (2:24): Lewis drops in coverage again, shaking his limp right arm slightly as if trying to work out the pain on the move. The pass was away from him and incomplete.

Play 3 (2:13): Lewis blitzes off the left side on another Cowboys pass. He maneuvers through some light traffic using only his left arm and with his right arm dangling by his side. Romo rolled away from Lewis, meaning he again wasn’t involved.

Play 4 (2:08): Lewis calls and points out something to Dannell Ellerbe with his left arm. He looks to be running a stunt, but doesn’t engage because Romo quickly dumps the ball into the flats.

Play 5 (2:01): The Cowboys finally run the ball. Tanner takes the handoff behind his pulling right guard, who blocks Ellerbe in the hole. It’s Tanner one-on-one with Lewis. Lewis comes across the line and careens into the 217-pound running back. Lewis grabs Tanner around his back with his left arm and spins to the turf. He tries to protect his right arm behind his back and ends up making the tackle one-armed.

Ellerbe said Lewis told him in the huddle a couple plays before leaving the field that he was injured. Lewis thought he dislocated his shoulder and Ellerbe told him to get medical help.

Lewis responded: "Nah, I can’t now.”

"It just shows he’ll live and die for this game,” Ellerbe said.

"One of the toughest competitors to ever play the game,” added Albert McClellan, who could see something was wrong with Lewis from the sideline. "Playing with a torn triceps, he can’t punch, he can hardly do anything. He made a one-handed tackle with a torn triceps."

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