Lewis’ career ends after being placed on injure reserved

Published 3:48 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

BEREA — Jamal Lewis has plowed into the line for the last time.

Cleveland’s punishing running back, who announced last month that he planned to retire following this season, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with post-concussion symptoms, a premature and unceremonious ending to his illustrious NFL career.

Coach Eric Mangini, who declined to mention Lewis’ injury in two news conferences this week, said the decision to put Lewis — and safety Brodney Pool — on IR came after consulting with the club’s medical team.

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“As I’ve said before, organizationally, players’ health and safety are paramount in any decision we make with regards to putting them back on the field,” Mangini said in a statement. “Jamal has been an integral part of this team and he has exhibited a great work ethic. He worked hard, studied hard and set a good example for the younger running backs.”

Pool sustained at least his fourth known concussion against the Bengals.

The Browns’ decision on Lewis and Pool came hours after the NFL implemented stricter instructions for when players should be allowed to return to games or practices after head injuries. Commissioner Roger 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.

With a bruising style that flattened would-be tacklers, Lewis rushed for 10,607 career yards, ranking him 21st on the NFL’s all-time list, just 36 yards behind Ricky Watters (10,643) for 20th place.