Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis said he practiced Tuesday and expects to play Saturday’s NFC divisional contest in Seattle despite leaving the team’s wildcard round win at Philadelphia early with a head injury.
“I’ll definitely be out there,” Lewis said. “I’ll be ready to go.”
Lewis got hurt in the third quarter and missed the rest of the Eagles game, which the Saints won 26-24. He described not being allowed to return to the contest as one of the most frustrating experiences of his five-year NFL career.
“If we lose that game there’s no tomorrow,” Lewis said. “It was very frustrating being out there, not being able to help my team seal the victory.”
Lewis finished first on the Saints (12-5) in interceptions with four and second in pass break-ups with 11 during the regular season. He had one pass break-up and five tackles in Philadelphia before being hurt defending an incomplete pass to receiver Jason Avant late in the third quarter. On the very next play, star Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson caught a 40-yard pass, his first of three grabs on the night. Cornerback Corey White was on Jackson.
As a result of Lewis’ injury, undrafted rookie Rod Sweeting — used almost exclusively on special teams — lined up opposite White and played 15 snaps, giving up one 14-yard and two eight-yard completions on three targets to receiver Riley Cooper while making four tackles. Sweeting’s only snaps on defense in the regular season were one in Week 12 against Atlanta and 14 in the Week 17 victory over Tampa Bay.
After practice wrapped up Tuesday, Lewis said, “It felt good having an opportunity to prepare for a big game like this.”