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Calvin Johnson will sit tonight with knee bruise; Delmas too

Posted by ttwentyman on August 15, 2013 – 6:33 pm

Patrick EdwardsThe Lions will be without receiver Calvin Johnson for tonight’s preseason game in Cleveland because the All Pro receiver is dealing with a knee contusion (bruise). Johnson also sat out of Tuesday’s practice.

The injury is not believed to be serious, and since this is the preseason, it’s a good chance to sit Megatron and give some receivers a chance to step up and earn a roster spot.

Most notably, Patrick Edwards, who will start in place of Johnson.

The team will also be without safety Louis Delmas, who will miss a second consecutive preseason game.

“Is it important for me to get out there? Yes. But is it wise? Right now I don’t think so,” Delmas said this week.

“I’m definitely on schedule for the regular season, it’s just trying to get into these preseason (games). I’m kind of doubtful about it, but I still want to get out there and participate with my team before the regular season.”

We’ll see if that happens next week vs. New England or in the preseason finale at Buffalo.

Don Carey will start in his place of Delmas.

Also sitting out tonight is safety John Wendling, cornerbacks Chris Greenwood and Jonte Green and tight end Matt Veldman, who injured an Achilles tendon catching a pass in practice this week.

Cornerback Ron Bartell, defensive end Israel Idonije and receiver Ryan Broyles were not on the list of inactive players released by the team before the game. We’ll see if they play tonight.


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Report: Louis Delmas flown in for physical

Posted by ttwentyman on March 8, 2013 – 11:36 am

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told reporters at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine that Louis Delmas’ injury history would be taken into consideration when deciding whether to re-sign the talented young safety or not.

“I think that we really focus on an injury history, injury background, on their personal character, football character, their playing ability, obviously,” Mayhew said when asked about Delmas specifically.

“But the injury question always comes into play. It’s something that you always want to be aware of, you want to know what you’re buying and I think that’s going to be a factor going forward for a lot of our free agents.”

Mayhew said the Lions’ doctors were “still evaluating his situation and … making those decisions.”

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions have flown Delmas back to Allen Park for a physical. Free agency begins Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The Lions have always wanted Delmas back for 2013 and beyond. He’s the heart and soul of the Lions’ defense and one of their few play makers on that side of the football.

It was never a question of his talent, but rather a worry that the 13 games he’s missed the last two seasons because of knee troubles might be a concerning trend.

The Lions are going to do their homework. Hopefully the physical checks out and that’s the last hurdle to him being re-signed.

Follow me on Twitter @ttwentyman


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »

As expected, no franchise tag handed out by Detroit Lions

Posted by ttwentyman on March 5, 2013 – 10:54 am

The franchise tag deadline has come and gone and to no one’s surprise, the Detroit Lions passed on franchising any of their would-be free agents.

General manager Martin Mayhew told local reporters twice this offseason that he didn’t plan on using the tag. He was true to his word.

“We’re not going to franchise anybody,” Mayhew said. “It doesn’t make sense for us right now.”

Last year, the Lions placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril, which paid him $10.6 million in 2012. The team would have had to pay the young defensive end upwards of $12.7 million, or 120 percent of last year’s salary, if they wished to tag him again.

Two other potential franchise tag candidates for the Lions would have been safety Louis Delmas ($6.91 million) and cornerback Chris Houston ($10.85), but it simply didn’t make sense financially for the Lions.

Eight teams did place the franchise tag on a player prior to Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline:

Buffalo Bills — Safety Jairus Byrd.
Chicago Bears – Defensive tackle Henry Melton
Cincinnati Bengals – Defensive end Michael Johnson
Dallas Cowboys — Linebacker Anthony Spencer
Denver Broncos – Offensive tackle Ryan Clady
Indianapolis Colts — Punter Pat McAfee
Kansas City Chiefs – Offensive tackle Branden Albert
Miami Dolphins – Defensive tackle Randy Starks


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Don’t expect any franchise tag news out of Allen Park

Posted by ttwentyman on February 18, 2013 – 12:49 pm

Monday marks the first day NFL teams can use the franchise tag as a way of preventing players from reaching free agency.

Don’t expect any news out of Allen Park on that front.

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew made it clear immediately after the season that he had no plans to use the franchise tag and reiterated that point last week when he spoke to reporters again.

“We’re not going to franchise anybody,” Mayhew said. “It doesn’t make sense for us right now.”

Last year, the Lions placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril, which paid him $10.6 million in 2012. The team would have to pay him upwards of $12.6 million, or 120 percent of last year’s salary, if they wished to tag him again.

That isn’t cost effective for a team with so many other needs and unrestricted free agents on the roster.

There was a time this season when safety Louis Delmas seemed like a candidate for the franchise tag – especially since the franchise amount for the safety position (approximately $6.8 million) is the third-lowest next to kickers/punters and tight ends – but injury concerns have probably decreased his value on the open market and the Lions will try to sign him for a much lower annual amount.


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Sammie Hill ruled out for Sunday; Brandon Pettigrew doubtful

Posted by ttwentyman on December 28, 2012 – 5:00 pm

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew returned to the practice field in a limited capacity Friday, but is listed as doubtful to play Sunday on the team’s Friday injury report.

Pettigrew hasn’t played since Dec. 9 when he injured an ankle in the first quarter at Green Bay.

If Pettigrew doesn’t play Sunday vs. Chicago, he’ll finish the season with 57 catches for 556 yards and three touchdowns. Those are the lowest totals in each category since his rookie season when he played only 11 games because of a torn ACL.

Tight ends Tony Scheffler, Will Heller and Shaun Chapas will continue to fill in for Pettigrew if he can’t go.

The team has already ruled out defensive tackle Sammie Hill for Sunday because of an injured toe. Hill hasn’t practiced all week because of the injury. With Hill out, the Lions will play only one (Ndamukong Suh) of their original four defensive tackles they began the season with. Corey Williams and Nick Fairley are on injured reserve and Hill’s season is now over, too.

Andre Fluellen and Ogemdi Nwagbuo will join Suh in the defensive tackle rotation.

Safety Louis Delmas (knee) and cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring/hip) are listed as questionable. Houston was listed with a hamstring injury on Thursday’s report; the hip is a new development.

Safety Don Carey (knee), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee/ankle) and running back Kevin Smith (thumb) are all listed as probable.


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Brandon Pettigrew returns to practice

Posted by ttwentyman on December 28, 2012 – 1:05 pm

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew decided the last full practice of the year was as good a time as any to return to the field.

Pettigrew participated in the portion of practice open to the media Friday for the first time since injuring an ankle in the first quarter at Green Bay Dec. 9.

The Lions have missed their second-leading receiver over the past two games he’s missed.

“Anytime you have a tight end that’s a mismatch for other teams it’s a bonus,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said this week. “On third down that’s a short throw to have to make. Most of the time he’s somewhere in front of you and with his body size and hands he creates tough matchups on third down in the red zone.”

Pettigrew is second on the team with 57 catches and 556 yards.

Also returning to the practice field Friday was safety Louis Delmas, who sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday to rest his sore left knee. Delmas has played in each of the team’s last two games.

Receiver Calvin Johnson (knee, ankle) did not practice. He was a limited participant on Thursday, but is expected to play on Sunday.

The Lions will release game designations for Sunday’s matchup with Chicago at 4 p.m. on Detroitlions.com.

Defensive tackle Sammie Hill (toe) missed his third practice this week, putting his status for Sunday in question.

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch did not practice but that was likely due to rest since he’s not been on the injury report all week.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 2 Comments »

Calvin Johnson returns to practice; three starters still missing

Posted by ttwentyman on December 27, 2012 – 1:00 pm

Fresh off last night’s announcement that he has received his third-career Pro Bowl nod, receiver Calvin Johnson returned to Detroit Lions practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a sore knee and ankle.

Johnson was voted a starting NFC receiver in the Pro Bowl by the fans, players and coaches Wednesday night. It’s his third-straight Pro-Bowl selection.

Johnson needs 108 yards Sunday vs. Chicago to become the first receiver in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards in a season. He already owns the single-season record with 1,892 yards.

He’ll have to get around Pro Bowl cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings to get the record, though. The Bears held Johnson to his lowest output of the season (three catches for 34 yards) in their first matchup back in October.

The Lions were still without tight end Brandon Pettigrew (ankle), safety Louis Delmas (knee) and defensive tackle Sammie Hill (toe) for the portion of practice open to the media. All three players missed practice Wednesday, too.


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Brandon Pettigrew, three other starters sit out of practice Wednesday

Posted by ttwentyman on December 26, 2012 – 1:08 pm

The Lions were without four starters today as they began on-the-field preparations for the team’s final game of the season Sunday vs. Chicago.

Receiver Calvin Johnson, tight end Brandon Pettigrew, safety Louis Delmas and defensive tackle Sammie Hill were all absent from the portion of practice open to the media.

Pettigrew has missed the Lions’ last two games and hasn’t practiced since injuring an ankle Dec. 9 at Green Bay.

“Pettigrew wasn’t able to play again but again (last week vs. Atlanta), as long as he’s not on IR we’re still hopeful that we can get him out,” head coach Jim Schwartz said Sunday. “Brandon’s a really prideful guy and doesn’t want to be out of the game. He wants to be out there but we’ll just have to see how he progresses.”

Hill injured a foot last week vs. Atlanta and Schwartz said he was being evaluated this week.

Both Johnson and Delmas played vs. Atlanta and it’s been common practice throughout the season to give both players rest during the week.

“(Delmas) seems to be on the upswing there as far as being able to bounce back and do some of the things that he wasn’t able to early in the year,” Schwartz said. “You see some of the plays he makes on the field; he’s a difference maker. Made some big tackles. (Falcons’ TE) Tony Gonzalez had one catch for nine yards and that was on one of our linebackers, so both (S) Don Carey and Lou Delmas did a good job of getting him covered.”

Johnson, who already owns the single-season receiving yards record with 1,892, needs 108 yards Sunday vs. Chicago to become the first receiver in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards in a season.


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Brandon Pettigrew inactive; Delmas to start vs. Falcons

Posted by ttwentyman on December 22, 2012 – 8:01 pm

The Lions will be without tight end Brandon Pettigrew — the team’s second-leading receiver – for tonight’s game vs. Atlanta.

Pettigrew will miss his second consecutive game since injuring an ankle in the first quarter two weeks ago in Green Bay. He is second on the team in both receptions (57) and receiving yards (556) behind Calvin Johnson.

“He’s a big part of our offense,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said this week of Pettigrew. “He’s been our second leading receiver and big chain mover and a guy we go to in third down and the red zone.

“You take one of those key components out, it puts a little more of an emphasis on using some other guys, and we’ve got very capable players that are doing a good job of stepping in.”

Tony Scheffler, Will Heller and Shaun Chapas will handle the tight end duties in place of Pettigrew. Heller will make the start.

As he promised Thursday, safety Louis Delmas will be playing and start at free safety. It’s the second-straight start for Delmas, who’s missed a total of eight games this season because of a sore left knee.

The Falcons average 26.5 points per game and have the league’s No. 5-ranked passing offense (287.5).

Having Delmas in the back end of the defense will be key for the Lions tonight.

Joining Pettigrew on the inactive list are: cornerback Ron Bartell, defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo, offensive tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard, defensive end Ronnell Lewis and quarterback Kellen Moore.


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Brandon Pettigrew doubtful to play Saturday

Posted by ttwentyman on December 21, 2012 – 5:00 pm

It looks like the Lions will be without tight end Brandon Pettigrew for a second consecutive week when they host the Atlanta Falcons (12-2) at Ford Field Saturday night.

Pettigrew, who missed practice all week, is listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report.

The fourth-year tight end out of Oklahoma State hasn’t practiced or played in a game since leaving in the first quarter of the Lions’ 27-20 loss to the Packers in Green Bay Dec. 9 with an ankle injury.

The Lions missed their second-leading receiving last week in Arizona. Receiver Calvin Johnson had 10 catches for 121 yards in a losing effort, but eight other receivers combined for 14 receptions and 125 yards.

Pettigrew is second on the team in receptions (57) and yards (556).

“He’s a big part of our offense,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of Pettigrew this week. “He’s been our second leading receiver and a big chain mover and a guy we go to in third down and the red zone. You take one of those key components out, it puts a little more of an emphasis on using some other guys.”

Expect Tony Scheffler, Will Heller and Shaun Chapas to fill in at tight end for Pettigrew.

The team listed safety Louis Delmas as questionable, though he already proclaimed he was playing when speaking to reporters in the locker room on Thursday.

Delmas was limited in Thursday’s practice and Friday’s walkthrough.

The team listed safety Don Carey (knee), cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), running back Mikel Leshoure (calf) and linebacker DeAndre Levy as all probable.

Kickoff Saturday is scheduled for a little after 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.


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