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New Orleans Saints CB Keenan Lewis plans to play Sunday

Keenan Lewis, a former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback who signed with New Orleans last year, is listed as the Saints second-best cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus' grading scale.

Wesley Hitt

Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis may not be available when New Orleans hosts the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday.

A second-quarter collision with 49ers tight end, Vernon Davis forced Lewis to the locker room during San Francisco's 27-24 overtime win on Sunday. He played sparingly in the second half with a bulky knee brace. Per SB Nation's Canal Street Chronicles, it was "obvious that Keenan was in a good deal of pain, as he was limping whenever he was on the field."

After returning to the field he convinced the coaches and trainers he could play by running, cutting, backpedaling, and doing other various cornerback moves on the sideline. He had a key 3rd down breakup and rotated in and out of the lineup for several plays, before finally leaving the game for good. When the knee became so swollen that he couldn't bend it anymore, defensive back coach Wesley McGriff, convinced Keenan that it was best not to risk tearing something in the knee and ending his season.

He's expected to have an MRI on Monday.

Lewis, a former third-round cornerback drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, signed a five-year deal worth $26.3 million ($10.5 million guaranteed) on March 14, 2013.

"If I felt that I couldn't go, I'd definitely be like, 'I can't make it out there.' I wouldn't try to put my career in danger for a single game, unless it was the one that really counted," said Lewis via NOLA.com. "But even then, if (the injury) was career-threatening, I would have told them no. You don't want to run out there and make it worse if it had been a serious injury. But I felt it was nowhere to that standard, so I went back out there."

The sixth-year cornerback has defended against 52 targeted passes, allowing a 51.9 percent completion clip and 319 yards -- with 98 yards after the catch. He has allowed three touchdowns, secured an interception, nine passes defensed and an opposing quarterback rating of 82.1. According to Pro Football Focus grading system, he ranks as New Orleans' second-best cornerback.