Ray Lewis’ Turf Toe Condition Has Ended Football Careers

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Will Ray Lewis be back in the lineup on Sunday? A bad case of turf toe is keeping him sidelined.

Mary Bubala reports it’s a tricky condition that has actually ended some football careers.

We all know Ray Lewis is one of the toughest on the field, so fans are curious how a toe injury could sideline him for two games — maybe more. That is until you hear about turf toe.

“When the toe bends back like this, say more than 80 degrees, it tears the attachments, ligaments on the bottom of the toe,” said Union Memorial’s Dr. Bill Howard.

Howard has suffered from turf toe himself and says it can affect any athlete in a sport where you push off from your toes like rugby, basketball, tennis and even running.

“If somebody lands on your heel, like this, and it bends your toe back like that as you come down, that tears it,” he explained.

In 2007 Jonathan Ogden suffered a severe case of it and ended his career with the Ravens the next year.

“A big guy and just a little toe, it can end their career,” Howard said.

This season, Ravens offensive tackle Ben Grubbs was sidelined for weeks with turf toe. Doctors say healing requires patience and time. 

“It needs anti- inflammatory, it needs ice, it needs rest,” Howard said.

Howard says most turf toes heal within four to six weeks. His advises patients who play sports to avoid wearing shoes with worn out soles.  

The Ravens say they are hopeful Lewis will play on Sunday.

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