Browns RB Lewis out of boot; still unhappy

CLEVELAND – At first glance it looks as if running back Dion Lewis could play Sunday for the Browns in their AFC North Division showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Unfortunately, for Lewis, he won’t get a chance at game action until next season. Lewis was placed on season-ending injured reserve last August after suffering a lower-leg injury in an exhibition game against the Detroit Lions.

Lewis had surgery to repair a fractured bone and ligament damage. He recently began walking without a boot.

The offense could have used Lewis’ contributions, especially once Trent Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts after the second game of the season.

“I feel I was going to be able to make plays,” said Lewis, who was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for linebacker Emmanuel Acho. “But things happen. You just have to take it with a grain of salt and keep moving forward.”

Lewis said he knew the injury was serious when he couldn’t stand up on the field. It was difficult for him to accept the injury at first.

“I thought I was doing well and making great strides every day and wanted to be a part of this team,” Lewis said. “It was definitely disappointing, but you just have to get over it quick and keep moving forward, and hopefully next year will be big.”

Lewis made his presence known during training camp. He showed decent strength for a 5-8, 195-pound back. His value may have been best utilized in the passing game of offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

“He knows how to use me and put me in great spots to succeed and spots where I’m comfortable,” Lewis said. “I’m definitely going to keep working hard to get better for next year.”

INTERESTING TAKE: During a conference call with beat reporters who cover the Browns, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was asked where a statue of former Browns and Bengals coach Paul Brown should be erected.

“You’re trying to get me into trouble,” Lewis said.

After a few seconds of thought, Lewis said, “I think you’d have to put it outside the stadium in Cleveland, wouldn’t you? His start with the Cleveland Browns and getting football going there like he did and at the standard and level it was played at when he was there. He has a stadium named after him here (in Cincinnati), so let’s put a statue up there on the lake.”

There’s a statue of Brown outside Paul Brown Stadium in Massillon, where he played high school football. In 2012, a statue of Brown was unveiled at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Brown played at Miami.

EXTRA SPECIAL: The Bengals have put in plenty of extra work this season, having played in three overtime games. They defeated the Bills, 27-24, but lost to the Dolphins and Ravens the last two weeks.

No team has ever played three straight overtime games.

SKRINE DOOR: Cornerback Buster Skrine has been successful in closing the door on receivers this season, leading the defense with 17 passes defensed. According to Stats LLC, Skrine is tied for third in the NFL in that category.

INJURY REPORT: Tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring) didn’t practice. Quarterback Jason Campbell (ribs), linebacker Paul Kruger (finger), running back Willis McGahee (knee), running back Chris Ogbonnaya (ribs) and defensive back Chris Owens (finger) were full participants.

Not able to practice for the Bengals were linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee), safety Chris Crocker (hamstring), center Kyle Cook (shoulder), linebacker Rey Maualuga (knee), defensive tackle Devon Still (elbow), defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (ankle) and guard Kevin Zeitler (foot). Linebacker Mike Boley (hamstring) was limited.