Lewis responds to Bengals’ release of Bryant

The curious (and costly) case of Antonio Bryant in Cincinnati has ended, but it might not be over.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis addressed the decision to release Bryant during a news conference Tuesday. While he didn’t elaborate on why Bryant was signed in the first place, Lewis discussed putting the situation behind the team … and then left the door slightly open about a possible return.

“I just think it’s hard to go forward and not know (about a player’s availability). It’s important for us to have guys that we are seeing in practice. It was a good time to give him an opportunity. It was a good time for the football team to put this behind us because it was going to be a bone of contention and speculation and all the things it stirred up. It was good to get it over with this week. We basically made the decision in Buffalo on Saturday. I came to that feeling myself and spoke with Mike (Brown, the Bengals’ owner) on it.

“It provides him an opportunity to catch up with another team, give him a possible opportunity to come back here and whatever that may be. I love this guy, for whatever reason, since he got drafted and when I coached against him when I was with the Redskins. It’s unfortunate it didn’t work out, but we’ll see what happens in the future.”

Lewis also defended the Bengals’ medical staff and its role in signing Bryant, amid recent reports that the team misdiagnosed the broken leg of LB Rashad Jeanty. Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com has more on that.

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