San Francisco 49ers quarterback Thad Lewis left Sunday's preseason matchup against the Houston Texans with what appeared to be a lower leg injury. It turns out that the injury was worse than originally thought. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media is reporting that the 49ers backup quarterback suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.
Source: #49ers QB Thad Lewis suffered a torn ACL. Out for the season.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 15, 2016
Lewis left the field with a noticeable limp and was eventually taken into the locker room for examination. He was announced as questionable to return. He was replaced by Jeff Driskel for the remainder of the game. Following the game, head coach Chip Kelly didn't have any information on the injury and was unable to comment of the severity of it.
"He actually didn't think that he was hurt that bad, but we took him out and put Jeff in," said Kelly on Monday just moments after learning about the injury.
Kelly was asked if they would like to keep Lewis around to continue to learn with the team. "Yeah, we would like that with all of our players that are on injured reserve," answered Kelly. "We want to keep them around, keep them learning, keep them part of the team. Obviously they can't participate in practice, but they can still sit in on meetings. They can do the rehab working with [vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Ferg and [director of human performance Mark Uyeyama] Uye. Get ready to go next year.
"I don't think this is a retirement thing for Thad by any stretch of the imagination and i'm just really disappointed for him because I thought he played well yesterday and was really starting to come on. But we would like him to stick around."
"He throws the ball really well and he's a smart and decisive quarterback so I thought once he settled down out there and got into a rhythm, he took us on two real good scoring drives," said Kelly when asked about Lewis' strengths. "One of them ended up with a field goal down in the red zone and obviously the other one ended up with a fumble in the red zone, but I thought he did a really good job of managing the team."
The 49ers now have two open spots on the roster. The team has not yet filled the roster spot left vacant by WR Eric Rogers, who is also out for the season with a torn ACL.
Lewis finished 12 of 21 for 97 yards passing. He was signed to a one-year deal by the 49ers in March. Lewis played college football at Duke and was signed by the then-St. Louis Rams in 2010. He has also spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, and Houston Texans.
Last year, he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, the former team of new 49ers head coach Chip Kelly. Over his NFL career, he has passed for 1,296 yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions, a completion percentage of 60.8, and a passer rating of 81.4.