Baltimore Ravens linebacker is set to play for the first time in more than two months against the Indianapolis Colts but said this will be his 'final ride,' intimating that he will retire at the end of the season.
It's a shocking announcement from a player that seemed to have all intentions on returning next season. Many close to Lewis said he would not go out this way after facing mounting criticism that he had slowed down substantially and then tearing his triceps, an injury that was expected to end his season.
Lewis is certainly using this as an opportunity to fire up the team and try to mount a final run at the Super Bowl. The Ravens have struggled through much of the season, but maybe this can help lift them to new heights.
If this is truly it for Lewis, he deserves nothing less than a magical run to the Super Bowl and to feel the confetti fall onto his head, something he has dreamed about ever since winning his first title in 2000.
It will be surreal to watch Lewis come out of the tunnel and do what will be his final dance in front of the fans at M&T Bank Stadium. It's hard to imagine there will be a dry eye in the entire stadium.
Lewis is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and helped the Ravens win Super Bowl 35, a game in which he was named the MVP. He was dominant at his position thanks to incredible sideline-to-sideline speed, tackling ability and the fear he put into opposing running backs and receivers crossing the middle of the field.
He was on the field for the team's first game in Baltimore, making his face synonymous with the franchise. Because Lewis started his career in the team's first year in Baltimore and will go down as one of the top players in the history of the NFL, he has a tie and bond with the franchise and city that really can't be compared to any other professional sports teams.
Players like Cal Ripken are held in very high esteem, but it wasn't like Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and others didn't come before him and hold special places in the hearts of fans. With Lewis, he is Baltimore football.
I guess owner Steve Bisciotti can get to work on the statue of Lewis that should be placed outside the stadium.