Bengals running back Jeremy Hill is having season-ending ankle surgery for an injury that coach Marvin Lewis says didn’t have to end Hill’s season.
Lewis said on Monday that two doctors agreed that Hill could have played the rest of the season on his ankle and had surgery after the season, but Hill chose to do it now.
“Jeremy thinks he needs to have ankle surgery,” Lewis said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Yeah, I think I would be [surprised]. I think he’s consulted a couple physicians, both said that this was something that could wait until after the season but he just felt like it was causing too much discomfort.”
Hill hadn’t been on the Bengals’ official injury report and Lewis said he didn’t need to be, because he wasn’t experiencing any issues that would indicate he couldn’t play.
“I don’t think he had any instance of [a problem] since this August when he rolled his ankle in training camp, or whatever it was, training camp or warmups in a game — I can’t remember what it was,” Lewis said. “One of those times in the preseason. But that’s the only instance he’s had this fall.”
Those comments suggest Lewis and Hill aren’t on the same page, and that’s not surprising: Lewis is coaching a 3-6 team and wants all hands on deck in an attempt to turn things around. But Hill has to think about his future, specifically the fact that he’s in the last year of his contract, and the Bengals are unlikely to bring him back after drafting running back Joe Mixon this year. For Hill, the right move is to put his injury behind him as quickly as possible and be able to show teams he’s healthy when he hits free agency. Even if Lewis wanted Hill to tough it out for seven more weeks.