Saints News: Keenan Lewis ahead of schedule on recovery
It’s no secret — the New Orleans Saints have had a tremendously rough start to the 2015 season. While the struggles of the Black and Gold can’t solely be blamed on injuries, they do play a part. Perhaps the team’s biggest missing piece at the moment is cornerback Keenan Lewis.
With Jairus Byrd having not played in almost a year, the Saints’ secondary really couldn’t afford to take another hit, but unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, which seems like common happenings down on the bayou for the Who Dat Nation.
A major loss for the Saints to start the season, their top defensive back in Keenan Lewis underwent hip surgery and was initially expected to miss 4-6 weeks while he recovers through proper rest and rehab. However, Lewis returned to action Wednesday for an early portion of practice, but he did not take part in team drills, which left him listed on the injury report as a non-participant. The same went for Byrd, finally.
Keenan Lewis is reportedly ‘ahead of schedule’ on his recovery, but whether or not he’ll play on Sunday is up to the coaches, trainers and most importantly, the medical staff. Watching from the sidelines is a rare circumstance for the 29-year-old veteran. Since leaving Pittsburgh and taking his talents down to the Big Easy in 2013, Keenan Lewis hasn’t missed a single game as a Saint until now.
It was anticipated that while the offense continued their surge of high power from a season ago, the defense would begin the year on a sour note with Lewis, Byrd and Dannell Ellerbe (returned to practice Wednesday) sidelined. However, it has been the exact opposite. The defense is what has been keeping the Saints in the game, setting up the offense for several comeback opportunities versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday, but they just couldn’t get it done, especially with a banged up Drew Brees.
But the defense is still far from consistent. Getting the veterans like Keenan Lewis, Byrd and Ellerbe back on the field could be huge for this young team’s confidence. Saints fans shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet, but fingers are crossed. We’ll know more on the status of Lewis and company as the week progresses. New Orleans (0-2) travels to Charlotte Sunday to take on the Carolina Panthers (2-0) for an NFC South showdown.