It took him a while, but 2009 third-round cornerback Keenan Lewis eventually made a name for himself. During his third season with the Pittsburgh Steelers he worked his way into the slot and then entered the starting lineup the following year. He parlayed that performance into a free agency contract with his hometown New Orleans Saints in 2013, where he had spent the rest of his career before his release prior to the 2016 season.
Lewis ended the 2015 season on injured reserve with a leg injury, and underwent hip surgery in January of the following year, still recovering by the start of training camp. He started on the Physically Unable to Perform List and then was released in late August.
He hasn’t played since then, and now he is looking to negotiate an injury settlement with the Saints after spending two full seasons out of football. Lewis filed a grievance stemming from his treatment and his release back in 2016 while he was injured.
An arbitration hearing is set to begin tomorrow to hear his case. It’s worth noting that the Saints recently fired two team doctors after it was found that they had misdiagnosed a leg injury for another cornerback, Delvin Breaux. They believed it was simply a contusion, but he was later found to have a broken fibula.
The Steelers have twice reportedly expressed interest in possibly reuniting with their former cornerback, first in August of 2016 soon after he was released and again the following April. It is exceedingly unlikely that they would have any interest in him now with their young core of players at the position, plus the addition of veteran Joe Haden, who is actually younger than Lewis.
The former Steelers cornerback said that the team determined that he had had a failed surgery when he was brought in for a free agency visit, which included a medical checkup. He said that he has experienced hip flexor deterioration as a result and was hospitalized because of a staph infection that went undetected as a result of an additional surgery in December of 2016.
Presumably, he has no interest at this point in attempting to return to the game. At the age of 31 and after undergoing a number of surgeries, some of which have been to correct the mistakes of prior operations, not to mention two years out of the game, it would be a wonder if he could even attract any interested parties.
He is a player that I always liked and it was a disappointment when the Steelers did not make a concerted effort to re-sign him in 2013. One might now wonder how his career might have gone differently had he been under the care of Pittsburgh’s medical staff, which includes Dr. James Bradley, who operates on many players around the league.