The tweet from Terrell Lewis, the one that went up one week before the SEC title game, made it seem like Alabama’s standout junior outside linebacker was nearing a return and — for those unaware of his recovery timetable — that maybe he could even be back for that game against Georgia.
It was a picture of Lewis celebrating his national title game sack versus the Bulldogs with the caption, “Debating if I should pick up where I left off…”
In reality, playing against Georgia was never a real possibility and it’s still unclear whether Lewis, who is still just five months removed from tearing his ACL, will be able to play this season for the Crimson Tide.
“I don’t know,” Lewis said on Saturday when asked about the possibility of returning during the playoffs. “Maybe. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but I don’t know. It’s possible. There’s a lot that goes into that decision.”
While Lewis participated in practice last week for the first time this season, his work was limited to going through some non-contact drills early in practice.
A few days after the tweet, Nick Saban shot down any talk of Lewis being close to a return, emphasizing that Lewis — at that point — wasn’t expected back “any time soon.”
“Right now, I feel really good as far as moving-wise and stuff like that, but I can tell it’s still a little bit of lack of strength as far as comparing it to this other leg,” said Lewis, who had a preseason first-round grade from at least one of the NFL’s scouting services.
That’s not to say Lewis won’t be back.
It’s just too early to tell whether that’s realistic or not.
“It’s not really all up to me,” Lewis said. “It’s mainly the doctors’ decision. Right now, I’m moving good and stuff like that. They’re really mainly focused on how explosive and powerful I’ll be when I get back out there. They don’t really want to chance it if it’s not working, like a risk-reward situation.”
Matt Zenitz is an Alabama and Auburn reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mzenitz.