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Thursday, December 3, 2009
Is Jamal Lewis a Hall of Famer?

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis has over 10,000 career rushing yards, including a 2,066 yard season in 2003, but will it be enough to get him to Canton?
Cleveland Browns running back Jamal Lewis, who plans to retire, was put on injured reserve Wednesday after suffering a concussion, ending his 10th and reportedly final season in the NFL.

With more than 10,000 career rushing yards and a Super Bowl championship with the Baltimore Ravens, is Lewis worthy of the Hall of Fame?

ESPN.com's AFC North blog checked in with several Hall of Fame voters Thursday to get an early gauge on Lewis' candidacy.

John McClain, Houston Chronicle: "I’m always open to discussion. But considering all the other backs coming out with big numbers like Jerome Bettis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Curtis Martin, Edgerrin James, etc., I think he's a long shot."

Jim Trotter, Sports Illustrated: "My initial reaction is no. But you have to keep an open mind when reviewing all candidates."

Mike Sando, ESPN.com: "I think it's going to be tough for some of the very good running backs to break through what seems to be quite a backlog of great, and borderline great, candidates at multiple positions."

Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "My immediate reaction would be no. But there's a reason we go through this whole voting process, so we can have time to look at what they did and where he came from. You can put me down for a wishy-washy [undecided]."

Joe Reedy, Cincinnati Enquirer: "I think when you look at the year-by-year numbers, along with what he meant to the Ravens' Super Bowl run in 2000 and keeping the Browns’ offense even remotely afloat the last two years, he has a legitimate candidacy. He was in only one Pro Bowl. But Lewis meant a lot to the Ravens' offense while he was there and his 2,066-yard season in 2003 and performance in the regular-season finale that year against Pittsburgh are what got the Ravens into the playoffs."