Ravens' J.Lewis to miss Saints game

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis incurred a "little spur" in his left foot, and will be held out of Friday night's preseason game against the New Orleans Saints. The injury isn't directly related to the 2003 NFL Offensive Player of the Year's surgically-repaired right ankle, according to team officials who described the injury as a minor setback.

Lewis, who missed the first week of training camp while fulfilling legal obligations of his federal prison sentence, had been unofficially slated for four or five carries. Lewis indicated that it was his left foot, not his right foot that was bothering him, and it's unclear when the injury occurred.

"It's not related to his previous injury," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "It's a different little spur that he's having to deal with. I'm told it's not serious. It's typical when you come into camp under the circumstances he had to come in.

"There's a difference between being in shape and being in football shape, and that's what he's having to go through right now. It's not related to the surgery."

Typically, bone spurs in the foot occur when too much weight is placed on one foot to allow the other foot or ankle to heal. Calcium deficiency is another common cause, according to medical journals.

In Lewis' case, it could also stem from overuse or simply reworking his stride after being away from a football environment for four months in federal prison and two months in a halfway house.

When asked to describe the nature and cause of the injury, Lewis replied: "I have no idea."

Lewis had hoped to make his preseason debut Friday. Now, the timetable will be pushed back in all likelihood to Sept. 1 against the Washington Redskins. It's even possible that the Ravens could choose to rest the former Pro Bowl runner even longer to let the injury heal completely.

Lewis has guaranteed he'll play Sept. 11 to open the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts, and that might be his first action.

Chester Taylor, who has rushed for 102 yards on 23 carries in two preseason games, will start again in Lewis' place.

"It shouldn't be something that should keep him out very long," running backs coach Matt Simon said. "Jamal looked forward to playing this week, but it's a preseason game. We don't want to put him at risk."

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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