Cleveland Browns running back Jamal Lewis finished his 10-year career without fanfare, being placed on injured reserve with what the team called "post-concussion symptoms."
The news came out of the blue Wednesday, since Browns coach Eric Mangini had said nothing about Lewis being injured.
Free safety Brodney Pool was also placed on injured reserve with his fourth concussion in five years.
Lewis, 30, announced after the Nov. 1 game against the Chicago Bears that this would be his final season. He ranks 21st on the NFL’s all-time rushing list with 10,607 career yards. A 1-yard run with 14:02 to go against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday was his final carry.
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The fifth overall pick in the 2000 draft, Lewis has totaled 500 yards (3.5 average) and no touchdowns in 2009. After seven years with the Baltimore Ravens, Lewis spent three seasons with the Browns.
Lewis posted seven 1,000-yard campaigns in nine seasons. His 2,066 yards in 2003 ranks as the second-highest single-season total in league history, trailing only Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 with the Los Angeles Rams in 1983.
Those numbers, and the Super Bowl ring he earned with the Ravens in 2001, could put Lewis in the hall of fame.
Tougher concussion rules
Lewis and Pool went on IR the same day that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued new, stricter guidelines as to when players can return from concussions. The guidelines go into effect this week.
Goodell sent a memo to the 32 clubs saying a player who gets a concussion should not return to action on the same day if he shows certain signs or symptoms. Those include an inability to remember assignments or plays, a gap in memory, persistent dizziness, and persistent headaches.
The old standard, established in 2007, said a player should not be allowed to return to the same game if he lost consciousness.
Wednesday’s memo also says players “are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion.”
The league said its concussion committee, team doctors, outside medical experts and the NFL Players Association developed the new standards.
The New Orleans Saints’ win over the New England Patriots Monday on ESPN was the second-most-watched cable telecast of all time. The game was seen by 21.4 million viewers and had a rating of 15.0, both figures second only to the Green Bay-Minnesota game Oct. 5. … Brian Westbrook will miss his third straight game as he recovers from a concussion and wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s status for Philadelphia’s game at Atlanta is uncertain after he sustained a head injury. … Arizona’s Kurt Warner says he’s still sensitive to light but had his “best day yet” at practice Wednesday since sustaining a concussion two games ago. He split practice snaps with Matt Leinart. … The Chicago Bears placed linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa on injured reserve with ligament damage on his right knee. … Hines Ward’s apology to Ben Roethlisberger has been extended to the rest of the Steelers. The Pittsburgh receiver said he regretted creating a distraction when he questioned why a concussion had kept Roethlisberger from playing against Baltimore on Sunday. … The New York Jets will be without cornerbacks Dwight Lowery (high ankle sprain) and Donald Strickland (concussion), and guard Robert Turner (knee) when they face the Buffalo Bills tonight. … Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis was ruled out for Sunday’s game against Houston.
N.Y. Jets (5-6) vs. Buffalo Bills (4-7)
Kickoff: 5:20 p.m. in Toronto.
TV: NFL Network. Radio: 950-AM will join game at 6:30 p.m.
Line: Jets by 3.
Last meeting: Bills won won, 16-13 in overtime, Oct. 18 at New York.
Last week: Jets beat Panthers, 17-6; Bills beat Dolphins, 31-14.
Notes: The Jets become the Bills’ latest AFC East rival to play in their “home” game in Toronto. The Bills lost, 16-3, to Miami last year in the Toronto series, which will run through 2012. … Jets running back Thomas Jones had 210 yards rushing, including a 71-yard touchdown, in a loss to Buffalo on Oct. 18. … Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez threw five interceptions in that game. … Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens is nine catches short of becoming the NFL’s sixth player with 1,000 career receptions. … Bills interim head coach Perry Fewell is 1-1 since taking over after Dick Jauron was fired.
The Associated Press