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Ravens LB Ray Lewis says he is retiring after the season

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Ray Lewis has been a fixture on the Baltimore Ravens defenses for a very long-time. But, according to Lewis, it’s time to leave the game.

The star linebacker announced on Wednesday that he’s going to retire at the end of the season. He has been one of the best players in NFL history.

“It is time for me to create a new legacy,” Lewis said, ending his career after 17 NFL seasons.

Lewis is expected to play against the Indianapolis Colts in the team’s wild card game after being out for two months. He missed that time as he was recovering from a torn triceps.

“There is no reason for me not to play,” he said.

He could be appearing in his final game on Sunday when the Colts play at the Ravens. If they do advance, the Ravens would have to play the rest of the postseason on the road.

He returned to practice a month ago and he had to be added to the active roster before the end of the regular season to be eligible for the playoffs.

“I talked to my team today,” he said. “I talked to them about life in general. And everything that starts has an end. For me, today, I told my team that this will be my last ride.”

Lewis is leaving the game with 12 Pro Bowl appearances, and has been named first-team All-Pro seven times. He was also named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice.

During his career, he led the team in tackles 14 of the 17 seasons. The only years that he didn’t lead the team in tackles was when he was injured – 2002, 2005, and 2012.

Only four players in NFL history have more Pro Bowl appearances than Lewis. Those players are Bruce Matthews (14), Jerry Rice (13), Reggie White (13), and Tony Gonzalez (13).

“I never played the game for individual stats,” he mentioned. “I only played the game to my team a better team.”

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