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Lewis still feeling effects of Sept 13 knockout


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Notebook Lewis still feeling effects of Sept. 13 knockout Running back is resting, talking with specialists. Players sleeveless in chill


By Marla Ridenour

Beacon Journal sports writer



Published on Monday, Jan 04, 2010


CLEVELAND: Browns running back Jamal Lewis is still experiencing symptoms from a concussion he said he suffered in the Sept. 13 opener against the Minnesota Vikings.


Although he was upset during the season that he was sharing time and the Browns didn't commit to the running game, Lewis is now almost grateful that he carried the ball only 143 times, the lowest of his 10-year career.


''Like I told coach Daboll, I wasn't getting a lot of carries and that might have been a good thing, might have been a blessing in disguise. Who knows?'' Lewis said of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.


Lewis was placed on injured reserve Dec. 2 with post-concussion symptoms. He revealed Sunday that it happened against the Vikings ''when I got knocked out and was lying on the ground and couldn't move.''


Still seeing specialists in Atlanta, Lewis said his initial symptoms were ''headaches, blurred vision, just not being me. Going into games week after week noticing something's not right.''


Lewis, 30, said concussions suffered by quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals about the same time his was diagnosed did not prompt him to seek help.


''That had nothing to do with it,'' he said. ''It was more of mental and me knowing myself and knowing how I am and how I react.''


He admitted that it ''was pretty scary from the start.''


''But talking to different doctors and specialists kind of eases your mind, gives you knowledge about what's going on and how to approach the situation,'' he said. ''[i'm] still having the symptoms. Just trying to get over that and rest as much as possible.''


Lewis announced after a Nov. 1 loss to the Bears in Chicago dropped the Browns to 1-7 that he was retiring, even though he has a year remaining on his contract. He sounded like he was wavering a bit Sunday.


''You just don't know, really, trying to let the concussion symptoms go away and get my head back to where it was and make a decision from there about my future,'' he said. ''First and foremost is get healthy.


''I don't know when I come back over the offseason and sit back and think about things, if this is something I want to pursue or move on in my life. I'm not closing the door on whether I want to pursue it or coach or do whatever. It's a yes, no, maybe so.''


Asked whether he could return to the Browns, Lewis said: ''That's a decision that's not made by me. It's kind of made by them. When I get finished with the rehab, then I can make a decision.''


Lewis said he also attended last week's game against the Oakland Raiders. He brought his son into the locker room after the finale, which completed a four-game winning streak by the Browns.


''I want to support the guys and watch 'em in person, not at home in Atlanta on TV, get a taste of this weather,'' Lewis said. ''It's the last game. You want to finish it off right, I wanted to finish it off with the guys.''


Brrr. . . .


The temperature was 16 degrees with winds from the west at 20 mph and a wind chill of minus 1. It was the third-coldest game the Jaguars have ever played in. But several Browns chose to go sleeveless, including the offensive linemen, running back Jerome Harrison and jack-of-all trades Josh Cribbs.


Quarterback Derek Anderson said the wind contributed to his second-quarter interception, when his pass intended for Mohamed Massaquoi was way short and picked off by cornerback Derek Cox.


''I learned during warm-ups that if I was going to throw the ball to the left, I was going to have to aim the ball out of bounds because the wind was coming off hard,'' Anderson said. ''When I let the ball go, I was like, 'Oh, geez.' It just starting dying right away.''


2010 schedule


Besides the AFC North foes, the Browns host the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs. They will visit the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars.


Top Dawg's support


Former Browns cornerback Hanford Dixon said on the WTAM (1100-AM) pregame radio show that he texted third-year cornerback Eric Wright in support after Wright failed to make the Pro Bowl. Dixon said he told Wright he thought he was deserving for three seasons before he made it.


Wright said Dixon's text cheered him up.


''It definitely did,'' Wright said. ''It wasn't like I was expecting to go.


''I'm going to keep working and perfect my craft. I feel like I'm among the top corners and sooner or later, I'll get that respect.''


In the second quarter, Wright got his fourth interception, tying free safety Brodney Pool for the team lead. Nabbing David Garrard's pass intended for Mike Sims-Walker, Wright returned it 19 yards to the Jaguars' 34 and set up a 21-yard Phil Dawson field goal for a 13-3 Browns lead.


But thinking he was headed for the end zone, Wright was still distressed he was tackled by receiver Mike Thomas.


''I didn't even see the guy. I didn't even feel the guy behind me,'' Wright said. ''That left side was wide open. Once I got past the first man, the guy just grabbed me from behind. Or else I would have run a little faster.''


Wright's four interceptions are a career high and gave him eight in three seasons.


Carried away


Former University of Iowa linebacker Matt Roth showed he's taking to his new home in Cleveland, participating in the O-H-I-Os during the playing of Ohio State's unofficial theme song, Hang on Sloopy.


''I was just getting into the crowd and having a good time,'' Roth said. ''That's what it's all about.''




The Browns' three sacks gave them a total of 40, their most since 43 in 2001. . . . Nordonia High School product Jason Trusnik had five tackles (four solos) for the Browns, along with a half-sack, two quarterback hurries and a special teams tackle. . . . Browns defensive lineman Corey Williams left the game in the third quarter with a thigh injury. . . . The Browns rushed for 214 net yards, giving them at least 160 in four consecutive games for the first time since 1968. . . . Cribbs finished with 1,994 return yards, the fourth-highest in NFL history. . . . With seven catches for 65 yards, Jags receiver Thomas set a Jacksonville rookie record with 47 receptions. . . . With Dawson making a 27-yard field goal on the first possession, the Browns scored on their opening drive in three consecutive games. . . . Browns rookie Brian Schaefering made his first career start at right defensive end.



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