The Baltimore Ravens will be without middle linebacker Ray Lewis for the remainder of the season after he tore the triceps muscle in his right arm. The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Baltimore's 31-29 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
The Ravens' official Twitter account announced the news:
#Ravens LB Ray Lewis has a triceps tear. Complete tear. He's out for the rest of the year.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 15, 2012
This is a massive loss for the Ravens defense, a unit that looks to Lewis as its tactical and emotional leader. Lewis ends the season with 57 total tackles and a sack in six games played.
The 37-year-old played in all 16 games three of the last four seasons and has made the Pro Bowl 13 times since entering the league in 1996. Lewis has also been honored as an AP First Team All-Pro player seven times in his career and has won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award twice.
Though the Ravens are currently first place in the AFC North with a 5-1 record, their defense did not look nearly as formidable against the Cowboys without Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb.
Webb tore his ACL in the first quarter of Sunday's game and will also miss the remainder of the season, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata also suffered what is believed to be a sprained MCL but did not have to leave the game, per Jason Butt of CBS Sports.
While Lewis is no longer in the prime of his career, his leadership and experience make him extremely valuable to the Ravens defense. Losing him will have a profound effect on the team and casts serious doubt on Baltimore's ability to win a championship this season.