October 2, 2009

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Ayanbadejo done for year: Surgery set for torn tendon

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This is just an example of the type of story we would cover. This is not our story.

Less than a week after being honored by the AFC for his play at linebacker, Brendon Ayanbadejo’s season has ended.

The Ravens placed the Pro Bowl special teams player on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season. Ayanbadejo didn’t waste any time in flying to Birmingham, Ala., later in the day to meet with renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews and planned to undergo surgery on his torn left quadriceps tendon later today.

“I want to be healthy tomorrow,” Ayanbadejo said via phone as he boarded a plane Tuesday. “I want to be back better than ever for next season. I don’t even want to miss a single day. That’s why I’m having the surgery tomorrow and flying to Birmingham today. One day of not having the surgery done is one day of not having rehab and feeling better quickly.”

The club worked just as quickly to fill the void by announcing its signing of Prescott Burgess off the New England Patriots’ practice squad Tuesday. The linebacker returns to the Ravens, who had traded him to New England on Sept. 22 in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2010 draft.

Ayabadejo’s resolve has defined his career. He had played in 100 consecutive games in the NFL and had avoided serious injury until Sunday’s 27-21 loss, when he was hurt while attempting to tackle Patriots running back Sammy Morris.

Ayanbadejo, 33, said team doctors told him he would be prohibited from doing anything strenuous and that his left leg must be allowed to heal. Afterward, he will begin rehabilitation.

The long weeks ahead of inactivity and viewing from the sideline had yet to dawn on Ayanbadejo.

“It’s kind of surreal and hasn’t really kicked in yet because I’ve played in a hundred and some straight games, including playoffs and Pro Bowls and all of that stuff. This will be my first time since 2001 [when he played for NFL Europe] that I haven’t played football.”

A three-time Pro Bowl player on special teams, Ayanbadejo had begun to have an impact on defense. Ayanbadejo, who was an integral part of the Ravens’ nickel and dime packages, ranks second on the team in tackles with 22 (a career high), according to statistics provided by the Ravens.

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