Sentence likely won't set back J. Lewis' season

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Jamal Lewis is not expected to miss much, if any, football time after receiving a four-month prison term yesterday for a drug-related crime in Atlanta.

The Ravens running back is likely to begin his sentence on or about Feb. 4, putting him on a timetable that seems generally favorable for him attending June minicamps and reporting on time to training camp, which is tentatively scheduled to begin July 31.

Lewis, who tried to set up the deal a few months after he was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft, also will spend two months in a halfway house and perform 500 hours of community service after his prison term.

Ravens officials, who declined to comment on Lewis' sentencing, are unsure whether he would miss their offseason camps.

Although the matter wasn't raised at the sentencing, the Bureau of Prisons has wide flexibility and could accommodate Lewis by shortening or adjusting his term. According to lawyers involved in the case, it is not unusual for people to stay at a halfway house in a different location for work purposes, which would allow Lewis to attend minicamps.

Even if Lewis can't report to training camp until early August -- when he would likely be released from the halfway house -- he wouldn't be too far behind schedule.

In recent years, Lewis has regularly participated in only a few minicamps. Plus, coming off ankle surgery earlier this month, Lewis could be limited in those practices, anyway.

As far as training camp, he still would be on target even if he shows up in early August. That would allow him to have enough time to start the Ravens' first preseason game, which probably will played on Aug. 12 or 13.

When he does report to training camp, Lewis will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 2004 season in which he rushed for 1,006 yards -- less than half of his 2003 total of 2,066 yards, the second-best single-season total in NFL history.

This season was marred by a two-game suspension from the NFL in connection with Lewis' guilty plea in October. He also missed two games with a sprained ankle.

NFL playoffs

Wild-card results

AFC

Indianapolis 49, Denver 24 N.Y. Jets 20, San Diego 17, OT

NFC

Minnesota 31, Green Bay 17 St. Louis 27, Seattle 20

Divisional results

AFC

Pittsburgh 20, N.Y. Jets 17, OT New England 20, Indianapolis 3

NFC

Atlanta 47, St. Louis 17 Philadelphia 27, Minnesota 14

Conference championships

AFC

New England 41, Pittsburgh 27

NFC

Philadelphia 27, Atlanta 10

Super Bowl

Feb. 6

At Jacksonville, Fla. Philadelphia vs. New England (-7), 6:30 p.m., chs. 45, 5

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