The Cincinnati Bengals announced yesterday that their longtime head coach, Marvin Lewis, would be missing perhaps a few days as he tends to “a minor health issue” that NFL Network reports is a “Baker’s Cyst”, which is admittedly something I’ve never heard of.
Reportedly, the 58-year-old coach has been traveling to and around the Bengals’ training camp sessions over the course of the past several days via a golf cart as a result of his ankle suffering inflammation and swelling due to the cyst. It has been alternately reportedly as either a knee or an ankle.
According to the team’s website, it is believed to be the first time in about a decade that Lewis has missed any time whatsoever. He had surgery on his ankle to repair multiple tendons during August of 2007 and was in a golf cart coaching up his players the following day.
For this issue, he is expected to seek bed rest and medication in an effort to reduce the swelling, though one wonders how successful his doctors will be in keeping him off the field. Some suggested that he would even return to the field even as early as yesterday—the same day.
It was clear to players that something was up, given his presence on a golf cart, but they said that he carried on as normal. Said Darrin Simmons, their special teams coordinator and acting head coach while Lewis is absent, ““he came out here on the cart like he was going to carry on as normal”. But “when you are dealing with things with your health and your body”, he continued, “this is a long season, we got to get him for the long haul”.
“He may have missed one day, but he’s a tough guy, he’s a resilient guy. He’ll be back when it’s safe and he can be back. But most importantly he needs to take care of himself right now”.
Lewis has been coaching football since 1981, and has been in the NFL since 1992. He has spent all but one season since then in the AFC North, coaching the Steelers’ linebackers from 1992 to 1995. He was the defensive coordinator of the Ravens from their first season in 1996 through the 2001 season.
After one season as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach with Washington in 2002, he now finds himself heading into his 15th season as the head coach of the Bengals.
Due to a recent turnaround over the course of the past six seasons, Lewis has managed to post a winning record for a team that was one a laughingstock for many years, but he is currently operating on the final year of his current contract.
It was just two years ago that he was reportedly contemplating retirement in the near future and worked with then-offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to propose a succession plan for the latter to take over in a year or two. Mike Brown was agreeable to it but not willing to put it in writing.
Jackson then left to accept the head-coaching position in Cleveland and Lewis remains in Cincinnati since. But one wonders how much longer he might stay.