Fans of NFL football will miss out on see a passing of the torch in Sunday’s matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans. Star inside linebackers Ray Lewis of Baltimore and Brian Cushing of Houston will not be on the field due to injury.
If Lewis and Cushing were playing we would see the old, wily veteran competing against a young, smart one. In Lewis we would be seeing the end of an era. With Cushing it would be the beginning of one.
Unfortunately, Lewis suffered what may be a season ending injury to his left triceps in last Sunday’s Baltimore victory over the Dallas Cowboys. It was initially reported that he would be put on injured reserve and miss the rest of this season. Wednesday, the Ravens said that there is a chance Lewis may be able to come back and the team will not put him in injured reserve.
Cushing will be out for the remainder of 2012. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee two weeks ago against the New York Jets. Cushing was hit with a low block by Jets center Matt Slauson. He is on injured reserved and can not come back for the regular season.
What will we miss Sunday?
We will miss Lewis firing up his team in pre game warm up then making his grand entrance. We will miss Cushing getting his troops ready for battle as well.
On the field we would have seen an aging Lewis still diagnosing plays before the ball is snapped. When his legs allowed him to get there he would make a play. Lewis would be a liability in pass coverage, but as they have in their first six games Baltimore would have covered for him. Though not the player he once was, Lewis is still a team, leader whose presence gives the Ravens defense confidence. His knowledge of where everyone should be is as important as his physical skills.
On the other side, we would have seen Cushing looking like a young Lewis roaming sideline to sideline and making tackles. He is part of a defense that may not be as good as what Baltimore had in the early 2000′s, but is very talented. Cushing would have been on the field every play. In passing situations he would have blitzed the quarterback sometimes or covered a zone down field.
The passing of the torch is a part of sports. It has happened in football since the days of George Halas. It is always interesting seeing a lion in winter like Lewis and a young lion like Cushing.
Unfortunately NFL fans will not get that chance Sunday.
Lewis and Cushing will not play and we will all miss out on something special.