Ray Lewis spent 17 seasons instilling fear in his opponents while serving as an inspirational leader for the Baltimore Ravens.
Now he's poised and eager to become a full-time dad.
Lewis announced Wednesday he will end his brilliant NFL career after the Ravens complete their 2013 playoff run.
Lewis has been sidelined since Oct. 14 with a torn right triceps. The 13-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker intends to return Sunday to face the Indianapolis Colts in what will almost certainly be his final home game.
"Everything that starts has an end," the 37-year-old Lewis said. "For me, today, I told my team that this will be my last ride."
Lewis will walk away from the game because he wants to spend more time with his sons. While working to return from his injury, Lewis watched two of his boys play on the same high school football team in Florida. He intends to see Ray Lewis III perform as a freshman next year for the University of Miami, where the elder Lewis starred before the Ravens selected him in the first round of the 1996 draft.
"God is calling," Lewis said. "My children have made the ultimate sacrifice for their father for 17 years. I don't want to see them do that no more. I've done what I wanted to do in this business, and now it's my turn to give them something back."
That's why Lewis will pull off his No. 52 uniform for the last time after the Ravens lose or claim their second Super Bowl title.
"It's either (that or) hold onto the game and keep playing and let my kids miss out on times we can be spending together," Lewis said. "Because I always promised my son if he got a full ride on scholarship Daddy is going to be there, I can't miss that."
Lewis was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2000, the same season he was voted Super Bowl MVP following Baltimore's 34-7 rout of the New York Giants. Lewis was also Defensive Player of the Year in 2003, and is the only player in NFL history with at least 40 career sacks and 30 interceptions.
Vikings' Peterson wants to play special teams
Adrian Peterson has been Minnesota's most irreplaceable player for years, piling up 2,097 yards rushing this season alone to put himself in the mix for the NFL's Most Valuable Player award.
This unparalleled contribution to the Vikings and their success, however, hasn't been enough to satisfy Peterson. One of the sport's most relentless competitors, he would like to play on special teams, too.
"For the past two years I've been trying to get in on field goal block. Come in off the edge, you know? It's just going to take one block for them to really be like, 'OK, you know what? Let's take the chance and let you go out there and get it done,'" Peterson said. "Kickoff return, I wouldn't mind getting back there. I'm in it to win."
Peterson was only asked about this Wednesday because special teams coordinator Mike Priefer revealed Peterson's constant request to reporters a few minutes earlier.
"He always asks," Priefer said. "He's a football player. Gunner, field goal block, returner. The guy is awesome. I always say yes, and then I ask the head coach and he says no. I know what the answer is going to be. I don't even have to ask."
Peterson actually returned 16 kickoffs as a rookie in 2007, averaging 25.8 per attempt including a 53-yard gain at Chicago, where he had his first 200-yard game that afternoon. The Vikings used him in that role once during the regular season in 2008 and again that year in the playoffs, but never since.
Around the league
Browns • According to several reports, team CEO Joe Banner is in Arizona and intends to interview Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who is preparing the fifth-ranked Ducks for Thursday night's Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State. An interview could take place as early as Friday.
Chiefs • Kansas City courted former Eagles coach Andy Reid on Wednesday as it searched for a replacement for Romeo Crennel, who was fired this week after the worst season in franchise history. Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt was meeting with Reid in Philadelphia, a person familiar with Reid's plans told The Associated Press. Reid, fired Monday after 14 seasons in Philadelphia, also planned to interview for the open job in Arizona.
Falcons • Coach Mike Smith says offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has signed a contract extension to stay with the team through next season. Koetter's name surfaced this week as a head coaching candidate in Cleveland, Kansas City and Philadelphia.
Jets • A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the team has not yet made a decision on offensive coordinator Tony Sparano's job status despite many fans and media having speculated that Sparano will certainly be fired after one season.
Rams • St. Louis will not renew the contract of linebackers coach Blake Williams, son of suspended defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. A team spokesman told the Associated Press Wednesday night that there was "nothing to report" on Gregg Williams, banished for his role in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal. Gregg Williams was an early addition to new coach Jeff Fisher's staff last winter and Fisher did not replace him after the NFL handed down its suspension.
• Cincinnati at Houston, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 5
• Minnesota at Green Bay, 6 p.m., Ch. 5
• Indianapolis at Baltimore, 11 a.m., Ch. 2
• Seattle at Washington, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 13