Ex-NFL lineman suing famous surgeon for ‘improperly performed’ surgery

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Former Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan is suing renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews over a 2020 procedure that Lewan alleges was ‘improperly performed.’

In the lawsuit, which was filed in Escambia County, Florida on Monday and obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Thursday, Lewan alleges that Andrews and another doctor, Benjamin Sherman, failed to protect the cartilage in his right knee during a surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament.

The surgery left Lewan, a three-time Pro Bowl honoree, with ‘severe and permanent injuries,’ the lawsuit claims.

‘Since 2020, this has sucked,’ Lewan said on his podcast, Bussin’ With The Boys, on Tuesday. ‘I would love to sit here and vent and tell you how tough of a situation this has been. But I can’t right now. I will definitely share more when I’m able to. But we all know how lawyers work.’

A spokesperson for the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine said ‘we cannot comment on individual patients or pending litigation.’ Sherman did not immediately reply to messages seeking comment.

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Lewan, 31, was at one point considered to be among the NFL’s best offensive tackles. After being drafted 11th overall by the Titans in 2014, he started 100 games for the team over nine seasons, playing primarily at left tackle. Then, in 2020, injuries hit.

Lewan ruptured the ACL in his right knee during an overtime win over the Houston Texans on Oct. 18, 2020 and had surgery to repair the ligament the following week. He then played 13 games for the Titans in 2021 before re-injuring the same knee in Week 2 of last season, which caused him to miss the remained of the year.

The Titans cut Lewan in February and drafted his potential replacement, Peter Skoronski, at No. 11 overall last week.

‘I wish him the best,’ Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters at the NFL scouting combine, following Lewan’s release. ‘Like I told him: We’ll see where you’re at (later), and if you still want to play. If it sounds like he does, we could always revisit that. But those are not conversations we’re having right now.’

Lewan alleges in the lawsuit that he sustained ‘permanent damage’ to his right knee in the 2020 surgery, performed by Andrews and Sherman. He claims, among other things, that the surgeons ‘failed to utilize requisite surgical technique’ and ‘failed to create the proper tunnel position, length, and angle in the tibia’ during part of the procedure.

Andrews, 80, is one of the most well-known and well-regarded surgeons in American sports. He has worked as a team doctor or consultant for several college and professional teams and counts Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Jack Nicklaus as among his former patients.

Contact Tom Schad at or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY