Each week, RulingSports.com will analyze one NFL player’s injury. Sports Medicine doctor, Dr. Mandy Huggins (Twitter: @HugginsMD), will provide medical analysis of the injury. Alicia Jessop will then break down some of the contract ramifications of the injury.
Dr. Mandy Huggins’ Medical Analysis
Ray Lewis left late in the game Sunday against the Cowboys with a right arm injury. Apparently he was in too much pain for the medical team to get a good exam, but there was suspicion of at least some degree of tearing in the triceps. Today (Monday) it was confirmed by MRI that Lewis, now 37 years old, has a complete rupture of the triceps.
The triceps brachii is the muscle at the back of the arm that extends (straightens) the arm at the elbow. The tendon inserts at the back of the elbow. Triceps injuries are pretty rare and are usually the result of injury. There is usually a visible or palpable defect (meaning you can see or feel it on exam), but in the case of a professional athlete, MRI or ultrasound can be obtained to confirm the diagnosis. Acute ruptures of the triceps will require surgical intervention. Unfortunately for Lewis, that means his season is over.
Alicia Jessop’s Contract Analysis
As Dr. Huggins noted, Lewis is 37-years-old. Playing in the NFL at the level he was competing at is truly an athletic feat. Lewis is currently in the middle of a six-year, $42.5 million contract that is set to expire after the 2015 season. Lewis still has much to earn under his contract: with salaries of $5.4 million, $5.85 million and $6.3 million remaining between 2013-2015.
Arugably, having $17.5 million left on the table to earn under his contract should be incentive for Lewis to rehab at a level to necessary to allow his return next season. However, it is to be seen if his age will allow that to happen. Nonetheless, anyone who knows Lewis likely believes his return to the game to happen.
Signed to a six-year, $42.5 havingmillion contract that runs through the 2015 season, Lewis is due base salaries of $5.4 million in 2013, $5.85 million in 2014 and $6.3 million in 2015.
That includes corresponding salary-cap figures of $7.3 million, $6.5 million and $6.7 million in those years for the 13-time Pro Bowl selection.
So, if the Ravens were to cut Lewis or he retired after this season and they timed all of the acceleration of the remaining proration of his $6.25 million signing bonus, option bonus of $1.25 million and second option bonus of $2 million, they would realize a total salary-cap savings of $4.35 million for the 2013 NFL fiscal year with no future dead money.