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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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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Johnson and Leshoure miss practice; Lacey back

Posted by ttwentyman on October 31, 2012 – 11:54 am

The Lions were without a number of key contributors Wednesday as they began on-field preparation for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville.

Receiver Calvin Johnson and running Mikel Leshoure did not participate in the portion of practice open to the media.

Johnson has been dealing with a knee injury the past few weeks and it’s been routine for him to miss practice during the week. He’s played in all seven games.

Leshoure asked to come out of last week’s game after a 7-yard run in the third quarter and trainers worked on his lower right leg for a bit on the sidelines. He did not return. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Wednesday his absence from practice was due to “personal reasons” and he would be back at practice Thursday.

The Lions also practiced without safeties Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey, defensive end Cliff Avril, defensive tackle Corey Williams, linebacker DeAndre Levy and cornerback Bill Bentley.

Bentley had been practicing in a limited fashion the last two weeks while dealing with a shoulder injury. He was not at the open portion of practice at all Wednesday.

The Lions did get some good news: cornerbacks Jacob Lacey (concussion) and Drayton Florence (broken arm) were back on the practice field. Florence isn’t eligible to come off short-term IR until the Packers game.

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Leshoure, Scheffler, Sammie Hill and Silva to start

Posted by ttwentyman on September 30, 2012 – 11:34 am

Mikel Leshoure became the first Lions running back since Billy Sims in 1980 to rush for at least 100 yards in his NFL debut, last week in Tennessee.

Leshoure has been limited in practice all week with a groin injury since that performance, but Lions fans will get their first look at Leshoure in Ford Field as he will start today for the Lions as they host the Vikings.

Leshoure rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown last week against the Titans.

Tight end Tony Scheffler, who missed last week’s game with a calf injury, will also play today.

Among the inactives Sunday for the Lions are: Safety Louis Delmas, defensive tackle Corey Williams, linebacker Travis Lewis, offensive tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard, safety Amari Spievey and quarterback Kellen Moore.

Fourth-year defensive tackle Sammie Hill will start for the injured Williams, who had knee surgery on Tuesday. Hill has two tackles through three games.

Safety Ricardo Silva was signed from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday evening and will play for Spievey, who’s been dealing with a groin injury. Silva will start in place of John Wendling.

The Lions released defensive back Jerome Murphy to make room for Silva on the roster.

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Stafford listed as probable for Sunday; Leshoure is questionable

Posted by ttwentyman on September 28, 2012 – 4:00 pm

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was a full participant in the Lions’ final practice of the week Friday leading up to Sunday’s game vs. the Vikings, and is officially listed as probable for Sunday’s game on the final injury report of the week.

Stafford missed the final minutes of the fourth quarter and the overtime period in last Sunday’s loss to the Titans after aggravating a hip injury. He did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday, before returning to practice in full capacity Friday.

Also listed as probable for the Lions are: receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle), receiver Titus Young (knee) defensive end Lawrence Jackson (calf) and offensive tackle Corey Hilliard (elbow).

Running back Mikel Leshoure is listed as questionable after being limited all week in practice with a groin injury. Leshoure made his NFL debut last week in Tennessee, where he rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown.

If Leshoure doesn’t play, Joique Bell and Kevin Smith will likely be asked to pick up the slack.

Tight end Tony Scheffler, who was limited again in practice Friday with a calf injury, is also listed as questionable. He missed last week’s game in Tennessee after suffering the injury against the 49ers in Week 2.

His absence last week was a significant loss because he’s such a tough matchup for opposing defenses down the middle of the field. It’s the middle of the defense that’s been the open spot the last couple weeks against the two-high safety shells that opponents have been using against the Lions.

Linebacker Justin Durant (back) and safety Amari Spievey (groin) are also questionable. Spievey did not participate in practice on Friday, while Durant was limited.

Safety Louis Delmas and linebacker Travis Lewis are doubtful for Sunday. Delmas hasn’t practiced since undergoing knee surgery Aug. 7 and Lewis hasn’t played since Week 1 with a quad injury.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz has already ruled out defensive tackle Corey Williams after Williams underwent knee surgery on Tuesday.

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Stafford’s injury listed as a hip; Leshoure limited with groin

Posted by ttwentyman on September 26, 2012 – 4:00 pm

As we get further and further into the season, the Lions’ injury report seems to be growing longer and longer.

The Lions returned to the practice field today for the first time since Sunday’s stunning loss in Tennessee, and their first injury report of the week has 12 players on it.

Among the six players who did not practice today was quarterback Matthew Stafford, who left Sunday’s game late in the fourth quarter with what’s officially being called a hip injury. Stafford said after practice that he felt a lot better today than he did Sunday, but still has some rehab to do before he could potentially return to practice or play Sunday against the Vikings.

Also listed as no practice on today’s injury report were: safety Louis Delmas (knee), linebacker Travis Lewis (quad), tight end Tony Scheffler (calf), defensive tackle Corey Williams (knee) and receiver Titus Young (knee).

Running back Mikel Leshoure showed up on the injury report after making his NFL debut Sunday with 100 yards and touchdown. The second-year player was listed as a limited participant in practice today with a groin injury.

“It takes a toll on everybody. It’s Wednesday during the regular season,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said after practice today when asked how Leshoure came through his first NFL game. “That’s life in the NFL.

“Particularly when you play 90-some snaps on offense; he didn’t play all of them obviously but he played a lot of them. His experience is no different than anybody else in the NFL. They only thing that’s different is that he’s experiencing it for the first time in the NFL.”

Linebacker Justin Durant (back), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (calf), receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) and guard Rob Sims (knee) were also limited.

Tackle Corey Hilliard (elbow) was listed as a full participant.

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Leshoure gets the start at Tennessee; Scheffler and Jackson inactive

Posted by ttwentyman on September 23, 2012 – 11:44 am

Running back Mikel Leshoure will get the start in his NFL debut today at Tennessee. The Lions will keep five running backs active in Leshoure, Kevin Smith, Keiland Williams, Stefan Logan and Joique Bell.

Lions tight end Tony Scheffler will not play today with that calf injury and will be replaced in the starting lineup by Will Heller. Scheffler didn’t practice all week and was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report.

A surprise healthy scratch is defensive end Lawrence Jackson, who was not included on this week’s injury report.

Also inactive today for the Lions are: safety Louis Delmas, quarterback Kellen Moore, offensive tackles Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox, and linebacker Travis Lewis.

With Scheffler out of the lineup, rookie receiver Ryan Broyles could potentially play a bigger role in the passing game, along with Heller. Broyles was on the active 46-man game roster against the 49ers last week, but did not get into the game.

Cornerbacks Chris Houston and Bill Bentley are both active and will start at cornerback. Both missed the 49ers game due to injury.

Cornerback Jacob Lacey, who showed up on Friday’s injury report with a toe injury, will play and is likely to be the nickel cornerback today.

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Leshoure, Houston and Bentley practice; Delmas still out

Posted by ttwentyman on September 19, 2012 – 12:01 pm

Lions running back Mikel Leshoure was the last player to trot out of the locker room and onto the field Wednesday morning for practice, which is curious, because no one would have blamed him if he’d camped out at the 50-yard line last night.

Leshoure was back on the practice field after serving a two-game suspension for marijuana possession this offseason. He still has to surrender two more game checks as part of his league-mandated penalty, but Leshoure should be strapping it up Sunday in Tennessee for his first regular season game since the Lions drafted him in the second round in 2010. He missed all of his rookie season last year after tearing his Achilles in training camp.

He split hand-offs with Kevin Smith and the first-team offense in the portion of practice open to the media.

The Lions are hoping Leshoure can give the run game a boost Sunday against the Titans.

Also back at practice for the Lions was cornerback Bill Bentley, who missed last Sunday’s game vs. the 49ers with a concussion.

Cornerback Chris Houston was at practice Wednesday, too, and looked to be doing more in the early portion of practice than he had last week when he was limited all three days of practice. Houston hasn’t played since spraining an ankle in Week 3 of the preseason.

Not participating in practice were: receiver Calvin Johnson, safety Louis Delmas, tight end Tony Scheffler, linebacker Travis Lewis, cornerback Drayton Florence and defensive tackle Corey Williams.

Johnson didn’t practice last Wednesday with a foot injury, either, but played against the 49ers and had eight catches for 94 yards.

The Lions will release the first injury report of the week at 4 p.m. today on

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Stafford to start tonight, but expect short work

Posted by ttwentyman on August 30, 2012 – 5:44 pm

Quarterback Matthew Stafford will start for the Lions when they host the Bills in tonight’s preseason finale.

Stafford isn’t likely to play long, though. If last year is any indication, in fact, it could be a very short night for No. 9. Stafford played a grand total of four plays last season at Buffalo in the team’s last preseason game.

Also starting tonight for the Lions is running back Mikel Leshoure, who will start in place of the injured Kevin Smith (ankle). Leshoure is the only change to the starting lineup on offense for the Lions.

On defense, fans will get to see Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley paired up at defensive tackle to start the game. Fairley is starting in place of Corey Williams, who’s been dealing with a calf injury.

Willie Young will start again at right defensive end for the injured Kyle Vanden Bosch (knee).

Ashlee Palmer will start at middle linebacker in place of Stephen Tulloch (knee).

Jacob Lacey and Justin Miller will start at cornerback as last week’s starters, Bill Bentley (shoulder) and Chris Houston (ankle), deal with injuries.

WR Titus Young will also not play tonight.

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Twentyman: Mayhew wouldn’t be doing his job if he wasn’t calling around regarding a RB

Posted by ttwentyman on August 28, 2012 – 4:58 pm

I preface this blog by first saying I have no knowledge of – and have not been told by anyone within the Lions organization – that general manager Martin Mayhew has been putting feelers out to teams regarding a possible trade for a running back.

Jason La Canfora of, however, tweeted Tuesday afternoon that Mayhew is actively trying to acquire another running back.

That being said, Mayhew should be making a few phone calls around the league to at least explore the possibility of getting additional help at the position, given the current state of the his running back corps.

  • The Lions placed running back Jahvid Best on the physically unable to perform list on Monday, which will prevent him from playing in least the first six weeks of the regular season.
  • Second-year running back Mikel Leshoure is facing a two-week suspension to start the regular season for two separate marijuana possession charges this offseason.
  • Running backs Kevin Smith and Stefan Logan are currently nursing ankle injuries.

If I were Mayhew, I’d certainly be making a few calls.

Don’t forget Mayhew tried to address the depth at running back last season when he faced a similar injury and depth problem last year after Best suffered his second concussion of the season and went on injured reserve soon after. Mayhew tried to trade for Ronnie Brown but that trade fell through, remember, when it was discovered Jerome Harrison, who the Lions were sending to Philadelphia in exchange for Brown, had a brain tumor.

There are a number of players who’ve been rumored to potentially be on the market over the last month, a list that includes Knowshon Moreno, Brandon Jackson, Leon Washington, Chris Ivory and Maurice Jones-Drew. The Lions have not commented publicly on any desire to trade or any player under contract with another team.

Now, before Lions fans get all excited about the last names on the above list, know that’s it’s highly unlikely the Jaguars would trade the NFL’s leading rusher from last year, and – if they did – he’d be too expensive to acquire for my liking.

I still believe the Lions have their answer at running back in Leshoure, but they won’t have him the first two weeks of the season and you can never have too much depth at any one position.

Mayhew could also choose to wait until final cuts on Friday to add a player to the roster.

Moral of the story is that if, in fact, Mayhew is making a few calls to see what’s out there, it is him simply being a diligent general manager and doing his job given the team’s current state at running back.

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