NASHVILLE – In his first extended comments since suffering a torn right ACL two weeks ago, Taylor Lewan expressed frustration over the injury and uncertainty over what lies ahead.
“It’s tough, but it really just turns into it’s out of your control,” Lewan said on the latest Bussin’ With The Boys Podcast, which he co-hosts with former teammate Will Compton.
“So like I kind of sit there and wonder, `What if I am done as a Titan?’" Lewan said. "Because you never know what’s going to happen. What if it is over for me? What if football is done with me? … I’ve got a lot to think about. I’ve got a lot to do in the next few months to figure out what I want my life to look like in the future.”
The Tennessee Titans left tackle first tore the ACL in his right knee in Week 5 of the 2020 season, which forced him to undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season.
He returned for the 2021 season, but the knee remained an issue at times, especially in the early going. Lewan indicated that the ACL never actually fully healed.
“Last year during the season, I had issues,” Lewan said. “My knee was swelling up. My knee was swelling up. I was always feeling pain in there, and I was like, `I don’t know what the deal is.’
“Turns out this year, I found out that there are things with my knee going on now that are a direct correlation to what happened when I got my knee done. So, I have to go and get my knee fixed, to be able to play football or to live like a normal life in general.
“So there’s not a whole lot I can go into, for reasons I can’t talk about right now. But I promise when I’m able to talk about everything, I’m an open book. I’ll really say everything that needs to be said and then go from there. But the best I can say about this is that it’s not a new injury.”
The Titans’ first-round draft pick in 2014, Lewan played in 62 of 64 games from 2015-2018, earning three straight trips to the Pro Bowl (2016-18). But by the end of this season, the 31-year-old Lewan will have missed 34 of the Titans’ last 66 regular-season games – primarily because of the two ACL injuries, as well as a four-game PED suspension in 2019.
Lewan has one year remaining on his contract, and he’s due to make $14.8 million in 2023. But the Titans would not suffer any cap penalty if they released him prior to the 2023 season.
Scheduled for surgery on the knee this week in Los Angeles, Lewan said the two ACL injuries – as well as the lengthy rehabilitation he went through in 2020 – have taken their toll.
“My first thought is I’m f***ing tired,” Lewan said. “It’s a weird thing to say. Like, I feel exhausted. Because it’s been two years of kind of like football hell. You sit there and you want to do things that you know you can do. But you’re limited in certain ways because of a mistake that happened.
“So it just sucks, but you just want to make sure that … you look back on your career and you hope you did enough things and affected enough people to where it has a lasting impression on people in Nashville and your friends and stuff like that, and people that supported you. So, it’s a bummer, but we’re always going to be alright.”
Lewan said he did everything in his power to recover as quickly as possible from the first torn ACL, so intent on healing that he sacrificed too much time with family and friends.
He intends to take a different approach this time.
“I’m not putting so much stress on how fast I need to recover or anything like that,” Lewan said. “I just want to make sure that my family is good, I enjoy doing this and then support the boys as much as possible.
“I’m staring down another rehab and it’s like, `I’m not going to make those mistakes.’ I’m not going to do that. I’m going to enjoy all this, and make sure that if it gets fixed correctly, it gets fixed correctly and I’m good.
“If not, then it is what it is. I’m over trying to control what I can’t control.”