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Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis returns to work after ‘minor health issue’

Marvin Lewis is in his 15th season as the Bengals’ head coach. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
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The Bengals are calling it “a minor health issue,” but it created a startling scene at the team’s training camp. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati’s longtime head coach, was not only forced to miss a practice Tuesday, but the team released a statement saying that he would “be taking time away” from it. By Wednesday morning, however, Lewis was coaching again at camp.

According to reports, the 58-year-old Lewis was at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium on Tuesday and had planned to attend practice, but when he got to the field, Bengals staffers convinced him to head back inside. Although special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons was initially given interim head coaching responsibilities, Lewis said Wednesday that he would be coaching in the team’s first preseason game.

“I was able to return to work [Tuesday] night after receiving great medical care,” Lewis said in a statement issued by the team. “I especially want to thank all of the doctors, nurses and technicians who treated me. I am glad to be back with the team as we prepare to play the Buccaneers.”

Lewis proved the Bengals right. They’d said Tuesday that he would be back “as soon as possible, which could be today or later this week.”

NFL Network’s Stacey Dales had reported that Lewis was dealing with a blood clot in an ankle, but citing a team source, she revised that to a Baker’s cyst, adding, “Clearly [a] better prognosis than assumed clot.” She reported that Lewis wanted to coach through his issue, but was advised to get some bed rest. According to the Mayo Clinic, a Baker’s Cyst is a fluid-filled cyst in the knee that can cause joint swelling.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Lewis appeared to be favoring a leg Monday and was using a cart much more than usual. “I just hope Marvin’s health gets back to normal and we can get him back out here quickly,” quarterback Andy Dalton told the newspaper Tuesday.

“It’s different just because Marvin’s always been here,” Dalton added. “I thought the way that practice flowed, nobody really blinked and we just kind of went through and did things the way that we do. I think we’ve got a lot of great coaches on the staff to do that. We’ve got Darrin filling in right now with some of the stuff that he’s got going. I thought the flow was good.”

Lewis is in his 15th year as the Bengals’ head coach, easily a franchise record. Taking over a team that had enjoyed no winning seasons in the previous 12 years, averaging 4.6 victories in that span, he has led the club to seven playoff berths, four AFC North titles and a 118-103-3 record.

Before joining the Bengals in 2003, Lewis was the Redskins’ defensive coordinator for one season, and he served in that capacity for the Ravens from 1996 to 2001, helping create one of the NFL’s all-time greatest defenses in 2000. He is the league’s second longest-tenured head coach, behind Bill Belichick, who was hired by the Patriots in 2000.

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