- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cleveland Browns running back Jamal Lewis, who announced last month that he plans to retire following this season, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with post-concussion symptoms, a premature and unceremonious ending to his illustrious NFL career.

Coach Eric Mangini, who declined to mention Lewis’ injury in two news conferences this week, said the decision to put Lewis - and safety Brodney Pool - on IR came after consulting with the club’s medical team.

“As I’ve said before, organizationally, players’ health and safety are paramount in any decision we make with regards to putting them back on the field,” Mangini said. “Jamal has been an integral part of this team, and he has exhibited a great work ethic. He… set a good example for the younger running backs.”

Pool sustained at least his fourth known concussion against the Bengals.

CARDINALS: Kurt Warner said he had his “best day yet” since suffering a concussion two games ago.

Still, Warner split practice time with backup Matt Leinart as coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff took a cautious approach to handling the 38-year-old quarterback’s head injury.

By contrast, Warner took all the first-string reps in practice last week only to sit out Sunday’s 20-17 loss at Tennessee, snapping his string of 41 consecutive starts.

GIANTS: Injuries at running back could leave New York short-handed for Sunday’s key NFC East matchup with Dallas.

Backups Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware missed practice; coach Tom Coughlin said he is uncertain about their status for Sunday.

Bradshaw missed the loss at Denver on Thanksgiving with left ankle and foot problems. Ware suffered a concussion against the Broncos.

STEELERS: Receiver Hines Ward extended his apology to Ben Roethlisberger to all of his teammates, saying he didn’t mean to create a distraction by questioning why a concussion kept the quarterback from playing against Baltimore.

Ward called Roethlisberger on Monday to say he was sorry for wondering why the quarterback was held out of the Steelers’ 20-17 overtime loss to the Ravens the night before. Ward wasn’t aware a team doctor advised Roethlisberger not to play because of post-concussion headaches that followed each of the team’s three practices last week.

FALCONS: Running back Michael Turner sat out practice but isn’t giving up on playing in a crucial game against Philadelphia.

Turner initially suffered a high right ankle sprain in a Nov. 15 loss at Carolina. After sitting out a game, he returned to play Sunday against Tampa Bay, only to go down again in the third quarter with the same problem.

Atlanta already has ruled out starting quarterback Matt Ryan with an injured toe.

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