Will Svitek was beaten thoroughly last week by J.J. Watt (which apparently is something that people in the national media weren't expecting for some reason) and it is obvious that Lewan is a much better option. However, with the season winding down and the Tennessee Titans all-but eliminated from the playoffs (obviously they are eliminated, but I am not sure about mathematically), is it worth bringing back Lewan despite his injury?
Taylor Lewan can use every rep he can get, and the pass rushers that he has to face in the following weeks aren't exactly world beaters. In the remaining weeks the best pass rushers that the Titans face are JPP...and I guess Bjoern Werner. Lewan has proven that he can hold up against much better talent than that, and a good month to end the season could do a lot for his confidence and understanding of what NFL teams will try to do to scheme around him.
The other big reason for Lewan to come back is to protect Zach Mettenberger. Lewan is the only offensive lineman on this team with anything resembling a mean streak, and he has said that he would have liked to be on the field to get even with J.J. Watt's dirty hit on Mettenberger to send him out of the game. This offensive line needs some fire, and right now it looks like they should just scrap it and completely rebuild next year. Lewan is the only player that seems to take it personally when Mett gets sacked, and if the Titans are going to properly assess Mettenberger he needs to remain upright.
Also, for those that haven't seen it yet, this is why you shouldn't write off Mettenberger yet despite what you may thing he should look like at this point.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Since week 8, Mettenberger trails only Aaron Rodgers (9.77) and Andrew Luck (8.89) in yards per attempt at 8.47. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Titans?src=hash">#Titans</a></p>— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) <a href="https://twitter.com/Joe_Fann/status/540557913165946880">December 4, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Do you really want to rush your best offensive lineman/rookie/future cornerstone back to play four meaningless games? Ankle sprains are hard injuries to recover from, and rushing him back could hinder his growth going forward. Lewan has been a bright spot for this team, but you don't want his ankle to prohibit him from moving the way he wants to, and allowing defenses to beat him with speed. This could be even worse than trotting out Svitek (though probably not). Let Lewan get healthy and try to find another offensive tackle worthy of a backup spot in 2015.