In the wake of Ray Lewis being forced to withdraw from ‘DWTS’ after getting injured, his ‘DWTS’ partner Cheryl Burke spoke with HL about why she thinks more training time is necessary for the celeb contestants.
Ray Lewis, 44, and Cheryl Burke, 35, were forced to leave Dancing With the Stars after Ray suffered torn tendons in his toes that will require surgery. HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Cheryl after the Sept. 30 show and she opened up about the need for more training. “I do think they need to give us more time for training,” Cheryl told HollywoodLife. “We used to do six weeks of training. I’m not saying it should be that, but now we have three weeks. I think we need to go back to four or five weeks because your body’s in shock. This is no joke. This is full-on 7 days a week. Your body is not used to the way it’s moving. We need to avoid injuries. We had Jewel, Nancy O’Dell…it just happens. It’s full-on.”
Ray and Cheryl were training to dance the cha-cha for Movie Night but an old injury came back to haunt him. He had torn a tendon his foot years ago and he admitted that his foot had been bothering him while practicing and performing. The former NFL star he had “dealt with pain every practice.” When he went to the doctor, Ray learned that he had torn three tendons in his foot and he would need surgery. Ray dropped out of the competition as a result of the injury.
Season 24 champion Rashad Jennings, 34, hit the dance floor with Cheryl in Ray’s place during the Sept. 30 episode. When asked whether or not there should be an extra celebrity on standby during the competition, Cheryl said, “I don’t think that’s fair. For Val, he had 3 days. The competition hadn’t started yet.”
Ray’s injury isn’t the first one of season 28 to put someone out of the competition. Just days before the season 28 premiere, Christie Brinkley, 65, broke her arm during rehearsals. Her daughter, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, 21, took her place just 3 days before and is now competiting with Val Chmerkovskiy, 33. Let’s hope this is the last of the injuries when it comes to the season 28 cast members. Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.