'Dancing With the Stars': Cheryl Burke Speaks out After Partner Ray Lewis Quits Show Due to Injury

Dancing With The Stars pro dancer Cheryl Burke broke her silence on her celebrity partner Ray Lewis having to drop out of Season 28 after an old football injury flared up during rehearsals. The duo made it to Week 3 on the dancing competition series, but Lewis was advised to stop dancing. Burke praised Lewis for the hard work and dedication he put in during his brief time on the show.

"Dancing with Ray has meant so much to me. His positivity and dedication are admirable, and his smile is contagious. The hard work he put into every practice and performance is something only a true athlete could do," Burke wrote on Twitter. "Being an athlete means pushing yourself past your limits, but also knowing when to take care of your body."

Burke continued, "Unfortunately, due to injuries he sustained to his foot, our journey to the mirror ball ends tonight. Ray, I wish you a safe and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing you do the squirrel dance again very soon."

During the pre-dance video prepared for Lewis, the two-time Super Bowl winner said he has been dealing with pain during every rehearsal and was pushing his limits. A doctor told him he tore three tendons in his foot, and that would require surgery.

"You keep dancing on that, it's going to actually rupture," a doctor said.

After speaking with the doctor, Lewis told Burke he had to leave the competition.

"This is probably one of the hardest decisions in my life. But right now, I gotta make sure that I don't damage something enough to where I can't walk," Lewis said.

Although Lewis was not able to dance Monday night, Burke still had a chance to show what she can do. She danced with former NFL player Rashad Jennings, who won the Mirrorball trophy in 2017 with Emma Slater. Slater also danced Monday, as she is James Van Der Beek's pro partner this season.

Last week, Lewis and Burke almost became the first couple eliminated. Although they earned a combined 30/60 score for their first two dances, they were one of the bottom two vote-getters, alongside The Supremes singer Mary Wilson and Brandon Armstrong. The judges picked Wilson as the first one to go home.

New episodes of Dancing With The Stars air Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Photo credit: ABC/Eric McCandless