Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Saints CB Lewis insists he'll play
By Mike Triplett
METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis was back on the practice field Tuesday, and he insisted he will "definitely be out there" on Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks after leaving last Saturday's playoff victory over the Philadelphia Eagles early with a concussion.
The Saints were not required to release a practice report on Tuesday, so the team didn't offer any specifics on how much Lewis was able to participate. And Lewis declined to get into any specifics about whether he has passed through the league's concussion protocol.
Lewis just repeatedly insisted, "I'll be ready to go."
"It felt good having an opportunity to prepare for a big game like this," Lewis added, when asked about being able to get back on the practice field Tuesday.
Obviously, it will be huge for the Saints to get Lewis back in the lineup this week. He has played at an elite level as New Orleans' No. 1 cornerback all season long since signing as a free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The long-armed, 6-foot-1, 208-pounder routinely goes against the opponents' top receiver in man coverage, and is a key reason why the Saints had the No. 2-ranked pass defense in the NFL this year.
Lewis, who had four interceptions this year, was arguably deserving of his first Pro Bowl nod, though he wasn't invited. Ironically, he probably earned more credit and national recognition than he has all season for leaving Saturday's game against the Eagles late in the third quarter. Up until that point, dynamic Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson hadn't caught a pass. After Lewis left, the Eagles completed a 40-yard pass to Jackson on the next play. And later, they gained 40 yards on a pass interference penalty when targeting Jackson.
Meanwhile, Lewis was seen on the sideline passionately arguing to come back into the game. But the doctors wouldn't allow it.
"It was definitely frustrating. When the game's on the line like that, you want to be out there, you know, any chance you can make a big play for your team. I just wanted to be out there to help my team win," said Lewis, who said he later heard from his mom that she didn't want to see so much passion from him on TV next time.
"My mom told me don't embarrass her like that no more, cursing on TV and stuff like that," Lewis said. "So if anything happens like that again, I'll just probably go sit down with my hood on my head or something."
Lewis said he did hear many Eagles fans booing while he was down on the field (presumably accusing him of faking the injury to stop the clock). He said that added even more motivation for him to try and get back in the game.
"I definitely wanted to go back in to show them," Lewis said. "They can cheer when they lose, too. So they're going home and we're moving on. But the fans never really bother me."
The Saints won't offer any other injury updates until Wednesday -- though they did announce that linebacker Parys Haralson was placed on injured reserve with the torn pectoral muscle he suffered against the Eagles.