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Ray Lewis declined invitation to attend tonight’s game


As the Ravens prepare for their first ever regular-season game without linebacker Ray Lewis on the team, one teammate wasn’t quite ready to proceed without Lewis around.

Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reports that Ravens running back Ray Rice invited Lewis to attend the game and join the team on the sidelines, but that Lewis declined.

Per Paolantonio, Lewis passed because of his post-football focus on his family.

Lewis will still be making an appearance, to the likely chagrin of Broncos fans. Earlier this week, the NFL announced that 32 former NFL players -- one per team -- will appear in a video counting down to kickoff.

The video, we’re told, consists of each player counting off one of the 32 seconds before kickoff. For the Ravens, the player is Ray Lewis. For the Broncos, it’s Shannon Sharpe.

Doing the honors with the “one” to end the countdown is, we’re told, not Shannon Sharpe but Ray Lewis.

And they won’t be booing, they’ll be chanting LEWWWWWWWWis.