The leader and beast of the Baltimore Ravens defense will retire after this season. Veteran linebacker Ray Lewis announced that his 17 year NFL career, all with the Ravens, will come to an end after Baltimore completes their 2013 playoff run.
Lewis has been sidelined since October 14th with a torn right triceps. The 13-time pro bowl middle linebacker intends to return Sunday to face the Indianapolis Colts in what will almost certainly be his final home game.
Lewis has gone to 12 pro bowls, been named first-team all-pro seven times and been voted NFL defensive player of the year twice.
Lewis says he wants to spend more time with his two sons.
"Everything that starts has an end. Its just life. For me, today, I told my team that this would be my last ride," said Lewis. "I've done what I wanted to do in this business and now, it's my turn to give them back something. It's either hold onto the game or keep playing or let my kids miss out on times we could be sharing together. I promised my son if he got a full-ride scholarship, Daddy was going to be there. I cant miss that. I make this last run with my team. I give them everything that I got. That's one thing I shared with them in that meeting. I said, 'I'm going to give you everything that I got because this is our last one. And wherever it ends, I didn't come back for it to end in the first round."
The Colts and the Ravens kickoff on Sunday at 1pm in the wild card game.