Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said linebacker Vontaze Burfict is still trying to decide whether to have surgery on his injured left knee or simply rehab it after being placed on season-ending Injured Reserve on Tuesday.
“On Sunday he told me he was ready to play,” Lewis said. “That’s why he is what he is. He’s such a competitor and everything. He’s heard recommendations from a lot of different people, and then he’s going to have to make a decision on what’s best to go forward.
“At some point physically, we just have to attend to things,” Lewis added. “It’s unfortunate. He’ll make a decision here coming up in the next few days, week or so, and attend to it and get himself ready for next year.”
Lewis said he expects Burfict to be on a normal schedule for 2015 if he elects to have the surgery.
Burfict injured the knee early in the Oct. 26 victory against Baltimore. He finished the game and underwent arthroscopic surgery Oct. 29. The team had hoped he would miss only a couple of games, but Burfict has been unable to fully recover.
Lewis dismissed the notion that the linebacker’s inability to get back on the field had anything to do with desire or the four-year, $20 million contract he signed in August.
“That had nothing to do with it,” Lewis said. “When he was able to go out and do what you can do as a professional linebacker, he was ready to go. It’s a hard thing to deal with if you’re a guy who’s never been injured before, and you’ve got this injury and it doesn’t seem that significant.
“He basically finished the (Baltimore) game,” Lewis continued. “You’re on that adrenaline, and when you come off of that, and it (the injury) is the real deal, then you need to consider the options.”