Ray Lewis unable to climb Kilimanjaro

Ray Lewis was unable to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because of a foot injury.

Also, Lewis developed a fever the night before the start of Thursday's climb of the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Lewis, the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker and current ESPN analyst, was in Tanzania to raise money and awareness about the need for clean water in East Africa.

“In the end, Ray’s decision was to let the team move on without him, rather than hold them back or put himself in a position where an injury which requires surgery could become even more complicated,” the organization TackleKili posted on its website. “As always, his team backed his play.”

Lewis, 38, who spent 17 years in the NFL, retired last season after winning the Super Bowl. He joined Doug Pitt, the brother of actor Brad Pitt, and former Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris to promote the clean water project in Africa. The day before the climb, Lewis was handing out hearing aides to children in Tanzania.

Lewis posted on Twitter on Thursday: