Backus’ regular season streak ends; Delmas to start

Posted by ttwentyman on November 22, 2012 – 12:05 pm

Jeff Backus’ iron-man streak of 186 consecutive regular season starts is over.

The 12-year veteran is inactive today due to an injured hamstring suffered Sunday in a loss to the Packers. Rookie Riley Reiff will start at left tackle.

Backus’ inactive status ends one of the most impressive streaks in NFL history.

Consider this, Backus has started every game at left tackle since the Lions drafted him in 2001. His 186 starts is a franchise record and the third-longest active streak in the NFL.

Backus started 49 consecutive games at Michigan beginning his redshirt freshman season in 1997, which means today is the first time Backus hasn’t started a game his team has played dating back 236 games.

Third-year player Jason Fox is active for the first time this season as a backup tackle. Fox hasn’t played in a game since his rookie season in 2010.

The Lions did get some good news with safety Louis Delmas, though. Delmas will play for the first time since injuring his left knee in a win over Seattle nearly a month ago. The Lions are 2-1 in games Delmas has started this season.

They’ll also have the services of cornerback Drayton Florence, who’s been cleared for contact after suffering a concussion in the Packers game. Florence participated in Wednesday’s walkthrough and will start at right cornerback for the injured Jacob Lacey (foot), who will not play today.

With receiver Titus Young inactive because of disciplinary reasons, rookie Ryan Broyles will get his first career start.

Receiver Brian Robiskie will be active for the first time since the Seattle game to add depth to the receiving corps.

Second-year defensive tackle Nick Fairley is active and will play today. Fairley showed up on Wednesday’s injury report with an illness. He’ll start his third straight game for the injured Corey Williams, who will miss his third consecutive contest.

Joining Backus, Young, Lacey and Williams on the inactive list are: offensive tackle Corey Hilliard, quarterback Kellen Moore and  defensive end Ronnell Lewis.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 1 Comment »

Delmas, Houston and Broyles among Lions’ inactives

Posted by ttwentyman on September 9, 2012 – 11:33 am

As expected, safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Chris Houston are among the Lions’ inactives today vs. the Rams.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said this week that both Delmas and Houston were making progress and he wouldn’t make a final decision on their statuses until Sunday.

“Both of them are veteran players; both guys can step in and play with little or no practice time,” Schwartz said Friday. “But we’ll just see when we get to Sunday.”

That decision Sunday was that both players aren’t ready.

Delmas underwent knee surgery Aug. 7 and hasn’t practiced since.

Houston hasn’t practiced since sustaining an ankle injury in Oakland during the team’s third preseason game.

Also inactive today for the Lions is quarterback Kellen Moore, linebacker Tahir Whitehead, offensive tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard and receiver Ryan Broyles.

Jacob Lacey will make the start at left cornerback in place of Houston and John Wendling will start at safety for Delmas.

Broyles, the team’s second-round draft pick, is still recovering from a ACL surgery back in November. He had three receptions for 54 yards in the preseason finale against the Bills, but he’s still not 100 percent.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | No Comments »

All of the Lions restricted free agents are signed

Posted by ttwentyman on April 19, 2012 – 1:26 pm

Check off another item from the Lions’ offseason to-do list.

Lions defensive tackle Sammie Hill became the last of the team’s restricted free agents to sign his tender on Thursday.

Linebacker DeAndre Levy and offensive tackle Corey Hilliard signed their tenders on Monday.

Hill had until Friday to sign the original-round tender (fourth round) worth $1.26 million. He’s been participating in phase one of the offseason training program, which began Monday, without a contract after signing a waiver.

Hill is an important reserve with starting experience along the Lions’ defensive front.

Levy was given a second-round tender worth $1.93 million and Hilliard signed an original-round tender (sixth round) worth $1.26 million.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »

Levy and Hilliard sign tenders; Hill signed waiver to workout

Posted by ttwentyman on April 16, 2012 – 11:09 am

Linebacker DeAndre Levy and offensive tackle Corey Hilliard have signed their restricted free agent tenders and are both participating in the Lions offseason training program, which began today.

Defensive tackle Sammie Hill has yet to sign his original-round tender ($1.26 million), but he did sign a waiver in order to participate in the training program.

Hill can entertain offers from other teams until April 20. The Lions have until April 25 to match any offer or receiver a fourth-round pick in the draft from any team that signs him.

Levy’s been a three-year starter at both inside and outside linebacker for the Lions. He finished last season with 109 tackles. Levy was given a second-round tender worth $1.93 million.

Hilliard played in all 16 games and made one start at right tackle last year. He is a valuable backup who can play both tackle spots. Hilliard’s original-round tender (sixth round) was worth $1.26 million.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »

Lions tender DeAndre Levy, Corey Hilliard and Sammie Hill

Posted by ttwentyman on March 12, 2012 – 3:08 pm

The Lions have extended tender offers to restricted free agents DeAndre Levy, Corey Hilliard and Sammie Hill, according to a league source.

Levy has been given a second-round tender that will pay him $1.927 million in 2012. Levy was a third-round pick by the Lions in 2009.

Hilliard and Hill were given original-round tenders, a fourth rounder in Hill’s case and a sixth-round tender for Hilliard. Both tenders are worth $1.26 million in 2012.

Any team that wants to sign Levy, Hilliard or Hill must give up a similar pick in this year’s draft. If an interested team makes an offer, the Lions have a week to counter the offer or receiver the draft pick.

As previously reported, the Lions did not extend a tender offer to restricted free agent linebacker Ashlee Palmer. The team still hopes to sign Palmer in free agency, though.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 15 Comments »

Lions won’t extend tender offer to LB Ashlee Palmer

Posted by ttwentyman on February 25, 2012 – 11:47 am

The Lions will not give a restricted free agent tender offer to reserve linebacker Ashlee Palmer, according to league sources.

Palmer played primarily on special teams last year and finished with eight tackles.

The move makes sense for the Lions, who will be up against the salary cap next season. They can’t afford to tender a reserve linebacker at more than $1 million.

That certainly doesn’t mean the Lions can’t come to a free agent deal with Palmer for him to remain a Lion. Palmer knows the system and was very good on special teams last season.

It’s not unlike the situation the Lions went through with running back Kevin Smith when they didn’t tender him a contract offer last offseason.

The Lions will have to decide on their other restricted free agents soon — linebacker DeAndre Levy, defensive tackle Sammie Hill and offensive tackle Corey Hilliard.

I expect the Lions to extend tender offers to all three of those players.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 1 Comment »