Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis will be away from the team for an undetermined amount of time because of a ‘minor health issue.’
The team released a statement at the conclusion of Tuesday’s practice, which Lewis missed.
“Coach Marvin Lewis will be taking time away from the team to focus on a minor health issue,” the statement read. “He will be back as soon as possible, which could be today or later this week.”
The Bengals said special teams coach Darrin Simmons will lead the team in Lewis’ absence, as Simmons did during Tuesday’s practice.
“It’s obviously an honor that the Brown family thinks of me in this situation, but obviously the biggest one is coach Lewis,” Simmons said. “Hopefully he can get healthy as fast as he can. Obviously our first thought is with him.”
Lewis, who was limping Monday and spent a lot of time on the cart, which is uncharacteristic for him, was in the locker room earlier in the day when it was open to the media, and he was seen riding a golf cart to practice about 30 minutes before it began.
But at some point after riding to the practice field he decided he wouldn’t be able to run the practice.
Simmons said team owner and president Mike Brown had approached him about the possibility of coaching practice, and the two discussed the logistics with offensive coordinator Ken Zampese and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
“It was still a bit up in the air whether coach Lewis was going to be out here at practice or not,” Simmons said. “I just figured he’d still probably be out here. But I guess he thought otherwise. He came out here on the cart like he was going to carry on as normal. When you are dealing with things with your health and your body, this is a long season. We’ve got to get him for the long haul.”
When asked if he expects to run the team during Friday’s preseason opener against Tampa Bay, Simmons declined comment.
“I have no idea,” he said. “The only guy who comments on injuries is coach Lewis. So I’ll stay out of that.”