- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 9, 2001

WESTMINSTER, Md. - Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis tore a ligament in his left knee during practice yesterday and is likely lost for the season.
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 left knee pad. He was not limping.
The injury was originally diagnosed as a bruise, but an MRI last night revealed a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament and a sprained medial collateral ligament. Surgery is required.
"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.
Lewis, the fifth overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, dislocated an elbow in training camp last year but rebounded to start the final 13 games. His rushing total last year set a single-season 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.
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 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 a carry as a senior with New Mexico State.
It was the second serious injury suffered by a Baltimore offensive player in the span of a week. Starting tackle Leon Searcy was lost for 10 to 12 weeks after tearing a triceps tendon in his arm during an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday.

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