Middle linebacker Ray Lewis of Baltimore was injured in the fourth quarter against Dallas on Sunday. He leads the team with 57 tackles. (JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS)

The Ravens’ worst fears were confirmed Monday when a n MRI exam revealed that middle linebacker Ray Lewissuffered a torn triceps in his right arm, an injury that will likely end his season and could force him to contemplate the end of his Hall of Fame career.

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh made the announcement about Lewis, who has a complete tear.

Lewis was hurt while making a tackle Sunday on Dallas Cowboys running back Phillip Tanner in the fourth quarter of the Ravens’ 31-29 victory. Lewis watched the final two minutes from the sideline as the Ravens held off two last-minute Cowboys drives that could have won the game.

The Ravens also lost their top cornerback, Lardarius Webb, to a season-ending torn left anterior cruciate ligament in the game.

“I would rather not characterize my emotions because I’m disappointed for those guys,” Harbaugh said. “It doesn’t matter how I or someone else feels about it. It’s their thing. These are guys who put so much effort, heart and soul into what they do.”

While acknowledging the potential severity of Webb’s injury after Sunday’s game, Harbaugh said that he didn’t think Lewis’s injury was “really bad.” However, further testing revealed the tear.

Playing in his 17th season, Lewis, 37, had faced some criticism the past couple of weeks due to the struggles of the Ravens’ defense, particularly against the run. The Ravens have allowed back-to-back opponents to rush for 200 yards for the first time in franchise history. The Cowboys’ 227 rushing yards Sunday were the most that the Ravens have ever allowed.

Lewis made 14 tackles Sunday and leads the Ravens with 57 tackles on the season. The Ravens could fill his spot by moving Jameel McClain into the middle and also starting Dannell Ellerbe who has also been one of the team’s top tacklers this season.

Harbaugh said he hasn’t spoken to Lewis since hearing the news late Monday afternoon and declined to speculate about the veteran’s career.

Lewis missed four games last year with a toe injury and the Ravens went 4-0 in his absence and played some of their best defense of the season. Before last year, Lewis hadn’t missed a game since sitting out the final two games of the 2007 season as a result of hand and back injuries.

— Baltimore Sun