Wednesday, August 8
Updated: August 10, 2:43 PM ET
Lewis tears ACL, will need surgery

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis tore a ligament in his left knee during practice Wednesday and is likely lost for the season.

Wed., Aug. 8
Jamal Lewis' ACL injury is a tough one for the Baltimore Ravens because Priest Holmes is gone. I think when you have a Super Bowl team, the key to repeating is staying healthy, and already the Ravens have lost Leon Searcy for half a season and Lewis for the year. Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' vice president of player personnel, will be pretty busy. Errict Rhett is available. Trades are a little tricky, but you never know.

Lewis, who ran for 1,364 yards as a rookie last season, walked off the field shortly before the end of the morning practice carrying his knee pad. He was not limping.

The injury was originally diagnosed by Ravens trainer Bill Tessendorf to be a bruise, but an MRI on Wednesday night revealed a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament and a sprained medial collateral ligament. The ACL will require surgery.

"This is difficult for Jamal. He worked so hard to prepare for this season, and he certainly is a very important player for us," Ravens coach Brian Billick said in a statement. "As a team, we have to move forward and find other ways to get the production we lose with Jamal's absence. We will adjust. We have to adjust."

Lewis, the fifth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft, dislocated an elbow early in training camp last year but rebounded to start the final 13 games. His 1,364 yards rushing is a team record, and he also caught 27 passes for 296 yards.

Lewis added 338 yards rushing in the postseason and scored four touchdowns, including one in the Ravens' 34-7 rout of the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

At the University of Tennessee, he missed most of the 1998 season with an injury to his right knee that required surgery.

Jamal Lewis
Trainers originally thought Jamal Lewis' injury was just a bruise.

The Ravens' depth chart thins dramatically beyond Lewis. Jason Brookins, who has never played in an NFL game, will step into the top spot and will be backed up by fifth-round draft pick Chris Barnes.

Brookins, originally signed by the Ravens as a rookie free agent last year, languished on practice squads with Baltimore, Oakland and Jacksonville before going overseas to play in NFL Europe.

Barnes averaged 6.6 yards per carry as a senior at New Mexico State.

"Our intentions are to evaluate the running backs on our roster to see if one or more can step in and replace Jamal," said Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens senior vice president of football operations. "Plus, we'll exhaust every effort to add another running back before the start of the regular season."

It's the second serious injury to the Baltimore offense in a span of a week. Starting right tackle Leon Searcy will be lost 10-to-12 weeks after tearing a triceps tendon in his arm during an intrasquad scrimmage.

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