The Lions have claimed former Raiders cornerback Patrick Lee off waivers, according to a league source.
The team released cornerback Alphonso Smith to make room on the roster.
Lee, six feet, 200 pounds, is a former second-round pick of the Packers out of Auburn. He played three seasons for the Packers before signing with the Raiders this offseason. He appeared in eight games for Oakland this year, starting seven, before being released last week.
He had 30 tackles, one interception, a forced fumble and four pass breakups before his release.
Smith re-signed with Detroit in October after the Lions had suffered some injuries to its secondary. He appeared in four games, with eight tackles and two pass defenses.
The Lions are expected to get cornerback Drayton Florence back off short-term injured reserve this week as well. Florence hasn’t played since breaking his forearn at San Francisco Week 2.
“He’s eligible to come back and he’s physically cleared so we would have to make a roster spot for him,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Monday.
“We’ve missed him on the field. He’s a good veteran presence particularly with the injuries that we have in the secondary. It would be good to get him returned.”
The team will have to release another player to make room for Florence on the roster.
Tags: Alphonso Smith, Drayton Florence, Patrick Lee
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 35 Comments »
Cornerback Bill Bentley returned to the portion of practice open to the media Friday, though he didn’t do much.
Bentley has been out since Sunday’s game in Philadelphia with a shoulder injury. He said Thursday in the locker room that he did not know his status for Monday’s game in Chicago and was just taking it “day-by-day” at this point.
Rookie Jonte Green and the newly resigned Alphonso Smith were handling most of the other cornerback duties opposite Chris Houston.
Safety Louis Delmas (knee, rest) and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (rest) returned to practice after sitting out Thursday.
Tags: Alphonso Smith, Bill Bentley, Chris Houston, Jacob Lacey, Jonte Gree, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Louis Delmas
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »
With their cornerback numbers dwindling due to injury, the Lions have brought back a familiar face in Alphonso Smith, signing the veteran corner to a free agent contract Thursday.
Cornerbacks Bill Bentley (shoulder) and Jacob Lacey (concussion) were injured in Sunday’s win over the Eagles and did not return. Neither player was on the practice field Wednesday for the Lions, either.
Smith is a logical sign for the Lions having been with the team through training camp before he was released in final cuts. The Lions traded for Smith before the 2010 season and he recorded eight interceptions and started 11 games over that two-year span. It then became a numbers game at the beginning of the season with rookie Bentley and Jonte Green earning spots on the 53-man roster.
Smith now joins Chris Houston and Green as the only cornerbacks on the roster not dealing with an injury.
Rookie cornerback Chris Greenwood returned to the practice field for the first time Tuesday after missing the first six weeks of the season while on the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Lions have yet to activate him to the 53-man roster and have a couple more weeks before they would have to do so.
The Lions released running back Keiland Williams to make room for Smith on the roster. The team claimed Williams off waivers before last season. He’s played in every game for them this season – mostly on special teams – with just two carries and two receptions on offense.
Tags: Alphonso Smith
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 9 Comments »
The Lions are willing to trade cornerback Alphonso Smith and have shopped him to at least one team, according to a report by NFL.com writer Jason La Canfora.
Smith was a second-round draft pick by the Broncos in 2009 and was traded to the Lions in 2010 for tight end Dan Gronkoswki.
Smith played in 11 games with three interceptions last season as the team’s fourth cornerback behind starters Chris Houston and Eric Wright and nickel corner Aaron Berry.
Smith has one year remaining on his contract.
Tags: Alphonso Smith
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 21 Comments »
The Lions head into their first playoff game in 12 years, Saturday against the Saints, the healthiest they’ve been in more than a month.
Friday’s injury report list’s only safety Chris Harris (back) as doubtful for Saturday night’s game in New Orleans.
Safety Louis Delmas, who hasn’t played since Thanksgiving with a right knee injury, is listed as probable. Delmas practiced all week for the first time since hurting the knee six weeks ago.
Also probable for the Lions are: defensive end Cliff Arvil (back), corner Aaron Berry (shoulder), defensive tackle Nick Fairley (foot), corner Chris Houston (knee/hand), receiver Calvin Johnson (Achilles), corner Alphonso Smith (foot), running back Kevin Smith (ankle/knee) defensive tackle Corey Williams (hip) and defensive end Willie Young (ankle).
The Lions should have all 11 starters on defense for the game.
That includes Williams, who missed last week’s game in Green Bay, and Berry, who hasn’t played since Dec. 11 against the Vikings.
It’s a good time for the Lions to be healthy.
Tags: Aaron Berry, Alphonso Smith, Calvin Johnson, Chris Harris, Chris Houston, Cliff Avril, Corey Williams, Kevin Smith, Louis Delmas, Nick Fairley
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 17 Comments »
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that all of his 53 players would be “in the mix to play this week” when the Chargers come to Ford Field on Saturday.
That means none of the injuries the Lions are dealing with are long-term.
However, there were still a number of players missing from Tuesday’s first practice of the week.
Safety Louis Delmas, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on Saturday, did not practice.
Delmas didn’t travel to Oakland and hasn’t played since hurting the knee against the Packers on Thanksgiving.
Also not participating in the portion of practice open to the media were: defensive tackle Corey Williams, safety Chris Harris, corner Don Carey and long snapper Don Muhlbach.
Corner Aaron Berry practiced for the first time since separating his right shoulder against the Vikings Dec. 11 and to part in individual drills.
Berry still looks to be favoring that right shoulder some, though.
Corner Chris Houston, who started against Oakland Sunday but was replaced by Alphonso Smith, was participating in practice.
Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch got his usual day of rest to begin the workweek.
Fellow defensive end Lawrence Jackson took part in his second practice since suffering a thigh bruise against the Bears back in November.
Running back Kevin Smith (high ankle sprain) practiced and looked fine.
There will be no official injury report released by the team today.
Tags: Aaron Berry, Alphonso Smith, Chris Harris, Chris Houston, Corey Williams, Don Carey, Don Muhlbach, Jim Schwartz, Kevin Smith, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Lawrence Jackson, Louis Delmas
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »
It’s Week 16 in the NFL and every team is dealing with injuries – Lions included.
But coach Jim Schwartz gave a bit of positive news on that front during his Monday press conference with the media.
“I think that we’ll probably have everybody on our 53 will be in the mix this week,” he said.
“Whether or not they’ll play or not, still way too early to tell, but I think everybody’s going to be at least into consideration – at least in the mix.”
Schwartz said that included safety Louis Delmas, who had minor knee surgery Saturday to clean up a sprain suffered against the Packers on Thanksgiving.
“I mean it’s too early to tell there, but there’s a possibility,” he said.
Corner Chris Houston started Sunday in Oakland for the first time since also spraining a knee on Thanksgiving, but was replaced by Alphonso Smith when he had a hard time coming out of breaks and defending receivers.
Schwartz gave no update on safety Chris Harris, who was evaluated for a concussion early against the Raiders Sunday and did not return.
Corner Eric Wright and linebacker Justin Durant made it through the game with hamstring injuries. Both didn’t practice for the first time last week until Friday.
“Let’s not give out any Purple Hearts or anything.,” Schwartz said of Wright and Durant. “They’re professional football players and they were able to play and they did.”
Running back Kevin Smith made it through the game on that injured ankle, too.
Tags: Alphonso Smith, Chris Harris, Chris Houston, Eric Wright, Jim Schwartz, Justin Durant, Kevin Smith, Louis Delmas, Week 16 - Lions vs Chargers
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 22 Comments »
The Lions have announced which players have been ruled out for Saturday’s preseason game against New England:
- RB Jahvid Best
- DT Nick Fairley
- T Jason Fox
- RB Maurice Morris
- DE Kyle Vanden Bosch
- CB Alphonso Smith
Notable game-time decisions include wide receiver Calvin Johnson and rookie wide receiver Titus Young.
Tags: Alphonso Smith, Calvin Johnson, Jahvid Best, Jason Fox, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Maurice Morris, Nick Fairley, Titus Young
Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 36 Comments »
The Detroit Lions have officially confirmed the trade of TE Dan Gronkowki to the Denver Broncos in exchange for CB Alphonso Smith.
Both players are in their second NFL season. Smith played in 15 games with the Broncos last year with zero starts, finishing the year with nine total tackles.
He was originally drafted in 2009 by the Broncos in the second round (37th overall) out of Wake Forest.
Tags: Alphonso Smith
Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 5 Comments »