While the NFL recently made it easier for players to return from injury, that still doesn’t apply to players placed on the IR prior to the regular season. In order for a player to be “eligible to be designated for return” from IR/NFI, they need to be on the 53-man roster after final cuts (via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter). This means players who are placed on IR during preseason are effectively sidelined for the season. It’s uncertain what ailment Lewis is dealing with, but the 28-year-old could conceivably negotiate an injury settlement if he hopes to see the field in 2021.
Lewis has spent the majority of his NFL career in New Orleans, seeing time in 39 games. He made a name for himself as a key returner, collecting 45 punts for 404 yards and 27 kicks for 617 yards. He also got some run on offense, compiling 30 touches for 306 yards and two touchdowns.
The former undrafted free agent signed with the Panthers last August but was waived before the start of the regular season. He caught on once again with the Saints, and he proceeded to get into five games. He re-signed with the organization back in July.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.