Ray Lewis stunned fans Monday when he dropped out of Dancing With the Stars.
The NFL Hall of Famer got emotional as he explained that an injury was forcing him out of the competition. In 2010 Lewis tore a tendon in his foot. Now a similar injury has forced him to leave ABC’s dance competition.
“It’s bothered me a lot,” he said. “I’ve dealt with pain every practice.”
At the top of the show, host Tom Bergeron announced “an old injury flared up,” which was why Lewis wasn’t dancing in the opening number.
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Later, a taped segment showed Lewis with a doctor who told him he had torn three tendons and would need surgery. The doctor said, “You kept dancing on that until it actually ruptured.”
An emotional Lewis told his partner Cheryl Burke, “This is probably one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I need to make sure I don’t damage something enough to where I can’t walk.”
Lewis also posted a farewell message on his Instagram account Monday night.
“Not the ending I had hoped or worked for but that mirror ball wasn’t in the plans for me,” he wrote. “I can’t say thank you enough for the support and love. Injuries have never stopped me before and certainly not now. I’ll be back doing the squirrel dance soon enough.”