A day after sustaining a left knee injury against San Francisco, Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis vowed he would play next Sunday against Cincinnati.
“I’ll be ready,” he said. “I’m just getting ready for the Bengals.”
Walking gingerly when he entered the locker room, Lewis stopped for an eight-minute interview. Although he refused to divulge whether he had gotten an MRI or was about to get one, he added if he thought the injury were serious he would not have returned to the game.
Lewis appeared to be in significant pain when he got hurt after being pushed at the end of incomplete deep pass to 49ers tight end Vernon Davis on the second play of the 49ers second-to-last possession in the first half. Although the Saints reported him as out at halftime, he played nine downs the rest of the way – breaking up a third-down pass on one of them - in the 27-24 overtime loss to the 49ers.
“If I had felt I couldn’t go, I definitely would have been like I can’t make it out,” he said. “I wouldn’t try to put my career in danger for a single game unless it was the one that really, really counted, and even then if it was career threatening I probably would have told them no.”
Lewis said some of his anger after the play - he pounded a training table in frustration on the sideline - was directed at Davis, who shoved him to the ground after the ball sailed over both of their heads.
“Any time you’re in pain you will feel a little bit upset, but in my opinion he didn’t have to push me,” Lewis said. “The ball was over both of our heads, so I was a little upset, but it’s football and it is what it is.”
Lewis, a New Orleans native in his second year with the Saints after spending the first four years of his career in Pittsburgh, has not missed a game since 2010. He has started 41 regular season games in a row.
“If you’re a competitor, you always want to be out there no matter what on the field,” he said. “It’s just that feeling when you’re not out there, you fee like you’re letting the team down. That’s how I felt.”
Following his Monday policy, coach Sean Payton did not address specific injuries. He said the Saints would look at all the players with potential injuries and “be smart.”