Delmas, Backus, Williams, Vanden Bosch and Lacey all questionable for Sunday

Posted by ttwentyman on November 30, 2012 – 5:00 pm

Safety Louis Delmas did not participate in the portion of practice open to the media on Friday and is officially listed as questionable on the week’s final injury report for Sunday’s game vs. Indianapolis.

Delmas couldn’t finish the Texans game on Thanksgiving because soreness developed in his left knee. He practiced only once this week (on Thursday) and was limited.

The Lions were also without defensive tackle Corey Williams for practice Friday. He, too, is listed as questionable for Sunday. He hasn’t played in nearly a month because of a knee injury.

Left tackle Jeff Backus is also listed as questionable. Backus had his iron-man streak of 187 consecutive starts (including playoffs) broken last week when he missed the Thanksgiving Day Game vs. Houston with a hamstring injury. He was limited in practice both Thursday and Friday.

“Every player if they can go out and do their job and help us be in a position to win then they’ll be out on the field,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Backus. “If they can’t, then they won’t. We have to do what’s best for the football team. Jeff understands that. He is probably one of our best team-orientated players as it is so he understands that also.”

Also questionable are: cornerback Jacob Lacey (foot/knee) and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck). Vanden Bosch was a full participant in practice Friday after missing Thursday. Lacey has been limited all week.

The list of players probable for Sunday include: defensive end Cliff Avril (back), cornerback Jonté Green (illness), cornerback Chris Houston (ankle), receiver Calvin Johnson (thumb), running back Mikel Leshoure (ankle), linebacker Ashlee Palmer (thumb) and guard Rob Sims (hamstring).

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No Delmas or Williams at practice

Posted by ttwentyman on November 30, 2012 – 1:09 pm

Safety Louis Delmas did not participate in the portion of practice open to the media on Friday.

Delmas was limited Thursday and his absence puts into question his availability for Sunday’s game vs. Indianapolis.

The Lions will release their game designations at 4 p.m. on and Delmas is likely to be questionable.

The Lions were also without defensive tackle Corey Williams at practice. He, too, participated in practice Thursday, also in limited fashion.

The Lions could simply be resting both Williams and Delmas to limit the wear and tear on their injured knees before Sunday.

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck) and cornerback Jonte Green (illness) returned to practice. Green hasn’t practiced all week.

Left tackle Jeff Backus was at practice again, but was limited in individual drills with that hamstring injury.

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Broyles: “I feel like a lot of players left plays out there and I was included in that”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 29, 2012 – 3:05 pm

“Getting my first start, on Thanksgiving, that really meant a lot. My parents came out. My wife’s parents came out as well and her brother, so it was a good opportunity to go out there and have them be able to watch me and have a game like that. It was a great situation to be in. Growing up watching Thanksgiving games, Detroit having played every  year, it was pretty cool to be out there doing that.

“Running out of the tunnel I couldn’t even see the ground, so I was high stepping a little bit. The smoke was going…it was pretty cool, the entrance and everything. Hopefully I get a couple more of those.

“I think I played pretty well getting my first start and then going out there and making some plays when I could. I feel like I did a good job with that. The coaches are believing in me, Matt’s believing in me. so that definitely builds my confidence; but at the same time I feel like a lot of players left plays out there and I was included in that.

“I feel like we’ve had a couple of games like the Thanksgiving game this year. It’s just one of those things where you hope that you can get a W. All the plays that we had – and we had a lot of plays – a lot of opportunities to make plays, and we did for the most part, but the times that we needed them, we didn’t capitalize on them. I felt like the defense and the offense both played well. It was a tight game the entire time and we just couldn’t come away with another couple of plays.

“For us to be able to fight and battle back in a game like that, and then the week before with Green Bay, it just shows that we have great athletes on this team and we have guys that are poised to make plays. We’ve been in a lot of close games and just let them go, so we have to come out this week and continue to strive for the best we can be.”

Posted in Ryan Broyles Blog | 11 Comments »

Lions get a slew of players returning to practice

Posted by ttwentyman on November 29, 2012 – 1:03 pm

It’s Week 13 of the NFL season and the Lions seem to be getting a lot healthier.

Safety Louis Delmas returned to the portion of practice open to the media today, though he was a limited participant in drills.

Delmas left the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Texans in the fourth quarter when soreness developed in his left knee. It’s the same knee that’s kept him out of seven games this year.

His return to the practice field is a positive sign, though, that he could potentially play on Sunday when the Lions host the Colts.

Left tackle Jeff Backus also returned to the practice field. Backus had his 187-game consecutive-start streak (including playoffs) broken last week when a hamstring injury kept him out of the lineup. Backus didn’t seem limited in drills today.

Running back Mikel Leshoure (ankle), defensive end Cliff Avril (back) and defensive tackle Corey Williams (knee) all returned to practice as well.

Williams has missed the last three games with the injury.

The only players to sit out of Thursday’s practice were cornerback Jonte Green, who was listed on Wednesday’s injury report with an illness, and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who was likely given a day off, per is usual weekly schedule.

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Calvin Johnson named NFC Offensive Player of the Month

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on November 29, 2012 – 11:46 am

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson has become just the second player in Detroit Lions history to be named NFC Offensive Player of the Month.

The other?

Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.

Sanders was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month three consecutive months during his historical 1997 season of rushing for an NFL-record 2,053 yards. Coincidentally or not, that was the same season the Lions began the year 4-6 before winning five of their last six games to clinch an NFC Wild Card spot.

In just four games during the month of November, Johnson has 32 receptions for 619 yards (19.3 average) and three touchdowns. He averaged 154.8 yards per game during the month and had at least 125 receiving yards in all four games. His 619 yards is a franchise record for the month.

Other notables for Johnson’s month of November:

  • His 619 receiving yards are the most in the NFL during the month since WR Terrell Owens registered 693 over a five-game span in 2007.
  • His 154.8 average is the highest in November since Hall of Fame WR Lance Alworth registered 156.3 during a three-game span in 1963.
  • Johnson is the first player since Texans WR Andre Johnson in 2008 to record a streak of three-straight games of 140-plus receiving yards and four-straight games of 125-plus receiving yards. Andre Johnson accomplished both of these in a four-game stretch during the month of October in 2008.

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Johnson: “That would be huge breaking Jerry Rice’s record. That’s a landmark.”

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on November 28, 2012 – 5:44 pm

“Our last game was physically and emotionally draining in all kinds of ways. We were out there through the whole quarter of overtime, that’s the physical aspect of it, and then the ups and downs during the game. Then it being Thanksgiving – it was taxing.

“This season has been tough, but we put ourselves in the situation. So the only thing we can do is keep working and finish the season strong. We need to bring those things together that we’ve been struggling on, whether it be missed assignments or whatever else it might be that’s holding us back. Eliminate those things during these last five games and get ourselves going in the right direction.

“That would be huge breaking Jerry Rice’s record. That’s a landmark. That’s crazy. You never know when you’re going to be in this position again so you have to best take advantage of it.

“Breaking it is possible, definitely possible. You just have to get over that 100 mark every game, which is not hard. I’m definitely thinking about it, but I just have to keep on working, keep it in the back of my mind, but still focus on the task at hand.

“When I first really got into football, Steve Young, Jerry – they were the duo that everybody wanted to be like. Everybody wanted to have that kind of chemistry as far as a wide receiver and a quarterback goes. That kind of chemistry on the field, that’s what everybody wants. That’s what everybody strives for to put up those kind of numbers.”

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Titus Young back at Lions practice; five others sit out

Posted by ttwentyman on November 28, 2012 – 1:03 pm

Receiver Titus Young returned to the portions of Lions practice open to the media today after more than a week away from the team.

Young was inactive for the Thanksgiving Day Game against the Texans and did not practice last week because of disciplinary reasons following the team’s loss to the Packers.

“He needed and the team needed a little time away,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Tuesday when Young wasn’t on the practice field. “And that’s not the same with the other inactive guys. But again, it’s not going to be based on what he does away from here, it’s what he does when he’s here with the team.”

Young took reps with the second team and went last in a number of receiving drills during the individual portion of practice. It appears Young will have to earn the trust back from both his head coach and his teammates before he can be an expected contributor on Sunday.

The Lions also welcomed guard Rob Sims and right tackle Gosder Cherilus back at practice. Both players sat out of yesterday’s “bonus practice.”

The team was without defensive end Cliff Avril, safety Louis Delmas, left tackle Jeff Backus, defensive tackle Corey Williams and running back Mikel Leshoure.

The first injury report of the week will be released at 4p.m. today on

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Lions without seven starters at practice, including Titus Young

Posted by ttwentyman on November 27, 2012 – 4:05 pm

The Lions were on the practice field Tuesday for a bonus practice.

The team was without seven of it’s starters – three along the offensive line.

Left tackle Jeff Backus, left guard Rob Sims and right tackle Gosder Cherilus all sat out of practice. Backus missed his first-career game last week with a hamstring injury.

Riley Reiff, who started in place of Backus last week, was filling in at left tackle on Tuesday. Dylan Gandy was at left guard and Jason Fox at right tackle during skeleton drills.

Receiver Titus Young, who was inactive last week because of disciplinary reasons, did not practice. Head coach Jim Schwartz will update his status after practice.

The team also practiced without safety Louis Delmas, who’s sore left knee caused him to miss overtime on Thanksgiving. They were also without defensive end Cliff Avril and defensive tackle Corey Williams.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 15 Comments »

Ndamukong Suh to be featured in upcoming ESPN The Magazine article

Posted by ttwentyman on November 26, 2012 – 4:49 pm

Ndamukong Suh will be featured in an upcoming ESPN The Magazine article. The Lions defensive tackle talked about his image and how he believes the Lions will win “multiple” Super Bowls.

“I’m a storyline,” Suh told the magazine. “I’m the chosen one for negative stories and controversial things. If I worried about it all, I would go insane. I just want to be a part of something that’s great. Then I won’t have to say anything, because that will always speak for itself.”

Here are some other excerpts:

I hated for that to happen to him (on Thanksgiving), and I’m sure he does now too. With time he’ll learn how to funnel his fire, but I hope he never loses that fire, because he has to have it to play that position. – Joe Greene, Hall of Fame defensive tackle for Pittsburgh Steelers

“I love that comment,” Suh told the magazine. “I definitely understand how to channel my aggression in a productive way. There are many reasons. One is I went through that situation last Thanksgiving. But also, any man, any child, grows up. You learn from your mistakes or you go backward. I’m the kind of person who wants to move forward. My fire is still there. And when I get a full opportunity to unleash my fire, it’s like the hit I put on Cutler.

“By no means am I trying to hurt him, but I am going 100 mph and trying to get him as quickly and as hard down to the ground as possible. That’s the way I show my dominance, and I am going to continue to do that. If that situation happens again with Cutler, I’m going to hit him the same way, if not harder.”

We are not currently dating. However, if the Lions win the Super Bowl and he wants to use the ring to propose to me, then we’ll see. — Lolo Jones, U.S. Olympian

“She’s a good friend, and we are not dating. We will not be getting engaged, because I won’t be giving that Super Bowl ring up. Maybe I’ll use the second one I get for that. I do see multiple Super Bowl rings in my future, especially with the team we have now. We’re a team where if we don’t make mistakes, we are insanely dangerous.”

Suh could be the nicest guy in the world for the rest of his career and he’ll always be the “dirtiest.” Might as well embrace it. – AnthGab, Sportsnation poll

“Embrace the role? I don’t know. People want to say, ‘We did a poll with 100 players out of 1,800 in the league who say you’re dirty.’ Do I really care? No. Now, if you got 1,800 out of 1,800 who said I’m dirty, would I care then? Nope. If you find my aggressive and dominating play dirty, then that’s your opinion. But I would assume most people want someone who is going to do anything and everything within the lines to win for their team, because I know I would.”

I have listened to the media hype about Suh since he got in the league … I have never thought he was a very good pro player. Suh belongs on the all-hype team. – Anonymous GM to Pro Football Weekly

“I’m not going to value your opinion if you don’t have the balls to say who you are, what team you work for and who you represent. That doesn’t seem like someone who has a job as a GM. That sounds like someone who used to have a job as a GM.”

Suh has not been the same player since the Stomp. – Caller on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit

“I’m not the same player — I’m a better player. I have a greater awareness now of how people look at you. Since that incident on Thanksgiving, there are a million cameras on me, so I have to understand that everything I do is being watched. I will always have to deal with that. But you can’t worry about it. My job is to defeat the guy in front of me, do it until he quits and then wait for them to send in the next guy.”

With all these traffic problems, he seems to be better at NASCARing all around America’s streets and highways than he is at playing ball. – Lions#20 on mlive

“That’s funny, but what am I supposed to say back to this person? I drove across almost the entire continent this summer with no issues. It’s always going to be, I’m an African-American guy who’s rich with a nice car and I sideswiped somebody who has a Ford Escort, or whatever it might be, and I’m going to be the bad guy.”

Suh just wants to dominate his opponent, and that’s just how it has to be on the football field. He puts pressure on everybody else to get on his level. – Panthers quarterback Cam Newton

“Cam’s words embody what I think a dominant defensive lineman should be: someone who affects the game on every single play for 16 games straight, a force who constantly gives offenses headaches and puts them under pressure. If I can do that in the middle, you can’t game-plan against it, whereas with a defensive end, you can shy away from that side of the field or bring in extra help.

“I also want the guys around me to do well and put up big numbers, because that’s a reflection on me. People forget that. If the guy next to you is playing well — I think Cliff Avril had 11 sacks last year — I feel like I helped. Even though it was a down year for me, it gives me joy to see one of my teammates doing so well. It’s not always about stats in this league, but to the outside world that’s what you are always going to be graded on, especially if you’re one of the elite guys. Any other regular defensive tackle with four sacks and 30-some-odd tackles, like I had last year, they’re in the Pro Bowl.”

What Suh did on Thanksgiving made me feel worse about being a lifelong Lions fan than the 0-16 season did or anything Matt Millen ever did. – Talitha0118 on

“I can understand someone feeling that way. It was definitely an embarrassing moment for our fans, and it was for me and my family. It’s something that will always be a part of the Lions, because I’m a part of the Lions. It’s something I will have to live with my entire life. But it was something you just have to grow from. I have grown tremendously from it. And it will never happen again.”

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 26 Comments »

Lions offense finding its groove in the first half

Posted by ttwentyman on November 22, 2012 – 3:27 pm

The Lions offense has found its groove.

Matthew Stafford and Co. scored a touchdown on it’s first possession of the game — the first time they’ve done that this season — and kept on clicking to the tune of 21 first-half points against the league’s fourth-ranked offense.

Stafford threw for 246 yards in the first half with touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson (22 yards) and Mike Thomas (5).

His 246 yards are the fourth-most in the first half of a game in his career.

His favorite target has been Johnson, who has 103 yards on five catches. It’s Johnson’s fourth-straight 100-yard game and he’s now passed 1,200 yards receiving on the season.

Defensively, the Lions have held a potent Texans offense to 165 yards with just 33 rushing.

Despite holding the halftime lead and playing well on both sides of the ball, there are still a couple adjustments the Lions can make:

–They need more production out of punter Nick Harris, who’s struggled to get both distance and hang time on his punts. This is the second consecutive game Harris has struggled. He’s averaging just 37 yards per punt on three attempts in the first half.

–Most of the Texans yardage on offense has come via big plays in the passing game. Receiver Andre Johnson has a 43-yard reception and a 37-yarder. That’s almost half of their entire first-half production.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 12 Comments »