Jamal Lewis hasn't closed door on a return
Cleveland Browns running back Jamal Lewis hasn't ruled out a return to the NFL, even though he is still suffering from headaches and blurred vision as a result of a concussion that ended his season.
Lewis says he must first receive clearance from doctors before contemplating a return. There is no timeline for when he could - or even would - be cleared.
``It's sort of a yes, no, maybe so,'' Lewis said. ``After I get finished doing what I have to do with the concussion process and get everything straight on top, then I can make a solid decision.''
Lewis' season ended Dec. 2 when he was placed on injured reserve with post-concussion symptoms, but he revealed Sunday that he actually sustained the concussion in the season opener against Minnesota and tried to play through it.
After the headaches and vision problems worsened, Lewis finally relented and went to see doctors. That's when he learned the severity of the injury.
Lewis carried 143 times this year for 500 yards. He did not score a touchdown.
``I just wasn't me,'' Lewis said. ``Week after week, I was noticing something isn't right.''
Lewis was one of the most outspoken veterans against first-year coach Eric Mangini. He was critical of Mangini's practice habits and felt the coach was working the players too hard. With new team president Mike Holmgren taking office on Monday, Mangini's future is in jeopardy.
Lewis reiterated Sunday that the team didn't always know what Mangini expected.
``I think Eric is a good coach,'' Lewis said. ``He did some good things, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what he wants out of the team.
``If you've got a boss that comes in and he has a vision and you're not sure where that vision is going, you're not sure what he's trying to do. You always hear the 'Mangenius' stuff, so it's like, 'What is he trying to accomplish? What is he trying to do?'''
Lewis said halfway through the season that it would be his last, but he doesn't want an injury to end his career. He has rushed for 10,067 yards and has one year left on his contract with the Browns.
Lewis credited Mangini for getting the team to play hard despite the 1-11 start. The Browns won four straight to end the season.
``He wants you to finish strong. I think that's what these guys did,'' Lewis said. ``It shows great promise when you have guys that can step up and finish the season off like they did.''