Ray Lewis says ‘DWTS’ withdrawal is ‘not ending’ he’d hoped for

Former NFL player Ray Lewis’ mirrorball trophy dreams have been dashed.

The “Dancing with the Stars” contestant was forced to drop out of the competition this week after an old foot injury resurfaced. Host Tom Bergeron announced Lewis and partner Cheryl Burke’s withdrawal on Monday’s show.

“Not the ending I had hoped or worked for but that mirror ball trophy wasn’t in the plans for me,” Lewis wrote on Instagram. “I can’t thank you enough for the support and love. Injuries have never stopped me before and certainly not now. I’ll be back doing the squirrel dance soon enough.”

In a video posted later, Lewis said he’s learned through the experience to “enjoy every moment.”

“Regardless of the ending, I truly enjoyed the journey and everything it taught me,” he wrote. “It wasn’t just about dance, but about pushing limits, getting out of my comfort zone and trying something new.”

Burke praised her partner in an Instagram post of her own for his “positivity and dedication” in their time dancing together.

“The hard work he put into every practice and performance is something only a true athlete could do,” she wrote.

“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays on ABC.

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