As Ray Lewis prepares to take his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, teammates, coaches, opponents, family and members of the media reflect on the legacy of the legendary Ravens linebacker with their favorite memories and never-before-heard stories.
As told to Bo Smolka
Kevin Byrne is the Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations.
We played in Chicago in 2005 on a miserable late October day — cold rain, windy and some snow flurries late.
Ray wasn’t supposed to play because of a hamstring injury. When I arrived at Soldier Field, I passed a room near our locker room and saw Ray in there soaking in sweat while riding an exercise bike.
“What’s up?” I asked, and Ray told me that the team docs said he could play if he showed them he could do all the movements linebackers do in a pre-game warm-up. Sure enough, he went out there for the tests and passed with flying colors.
When we came back for the second half, with Ray cooled from the break, he dove to make a tackle near the sideline and ended up completely ripping the hamstring. He still wanted to go back in the game, but ended up lost for the season. He had to have surgery to repair it.
He’s the toughest player I ever met — incredible tolerance for pain.
To read all 52 memories of No. 52, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Ray.