Alex Lewis says he didn't rethink NFL future after 'scary' neck injury

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens guard Alex Lewis returned to the practice field Wednesday, just 10 days after being carted off the field for a neck injury and taken by ambulance to a hospital.

The alarming incident hasn't made Lewis rethink his future in football.

"I love this sport too much," said Lewis, who sat out last week with a pinched nerve in his neck. "Plus, it's fun hitting people."

Lewis, a second-year starter, was injured on a run-blocking play on Oct. 14 in Tennessee, where he collided with a Titans defender and his head snapped back. After standing still for a few seconds, he dropped to his knee and then collapsed on his back.

Lewis said Wednesday that his entire upper body went numb. Feeling returned once he got to the ambulance.

"That was scary," Lewis said. "It was almost like a light switch shut off for a second and came back on."

Lewis was released from the hospital in enough time to rejoin the team on the flight back to Baltimore. He said he's thankful to be walking again, but he acknowledged that coming back presents more than a physical hurdle.

"Right now, I feel good," Lewis said. "Mentally, it will be a test to see how well I perform out there at practice. Until I get a good pop in or a good hit in, mentally it's going to be on my mind. I'm going to try to overcome and try to get ready."

With Lewis sidelined, rookie sixth-round pick Bradley Bozeman made his first NFL start. Lewis is shooting to play in Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

"I'll give it a go today and see how it goes," Lewis said. "I'm taking advantage of every rep I have and we'll make that decision going forward."