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DT Nick Fairley named Chuck Hughes Most Improved Player

Posted by ttwentyman on January 11, 2013 – 4:01 pm

Nick Fairley showed why he was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2011 draft this past season for the Detroit Lions.

The second-year defensive tackle was simply dominant at times and was voted the Chuck Hughes Most Improved Player by his teammates.

Fairley recorded 34 tackles, 5.5 sacks and forced two fumbled in 13 games. He missed the final three games of the season with a shoulder injury.

He showed flashes of talent during his rookie season in 2011, but a broken foot suffered in training camp lingered throughout the season, preventing him from truly showing what he could do.

This season he proved to be a force. He and Ndamukong Suh have quickly become one of the best defensive-tackle tandems in the league.

The Chuck Hughes Award is presented to the player who, because of hard work and determination, showed significant development and improvement during the past year. This award is given in memory of Chuck Hughes, a Lions’ reserve wide receiver who played two seasons with the Lions (1970-71). Hughes is the only NFL player to have died during action on a football field, having suffered a fatal heart attack during Detroit’s game against Chicago on October 24, 1971.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »

Lions place DT Nick Fairley on IR; sign Ogemdi Nwagbuo

Posted by ttwentyman on December 19, 2012 – 12:34 pm

The Lions ended the season of second-year defensive tackle Nick Fairley Wednesday by placing him on injured reserve.

Fairley injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter of the Lions’ 27-20 loss to the Packers Dec. 9. He missed last week’s game in Arizona due to the injury.

It’s unclear if he’ll need surgery at this point.

Fairley was coming into his own in his second season after being hampered by a foot injury as a rookie. The Lions took him No. 13 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. He had earned a starting role and finishes with 34 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles this season.

The Lions signed former Michigan State Spartan defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo to fill Fairley’s roster spot.

Nwagbuo was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2008. He didn’t make the Giants roster that season, but earned a spot on the Chargers’ practice squad.

He made the active roster for San Diego in 2009 and spent the next three seasons with the team.

Nwagbuo played in four games (one start) for the Panthers last season.

He has 44 career tackles and 1.5 sacks.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 18 Comments »

CB Jacob Lacey suffers ‘significant’ knee injury

Posted by ttwentyman on December 17, 2012 – 4:53 pm

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that cornerback Jacob Lacey suffered a ‘significant’ knee injury in Sunday’s 38-10 loss at Arizona that could spell the end of the his season.

Lacey was injured making a tackle on the games opening series. He immediately grabbed at his left knee, but did eventually walk off the field under his own power.

He went to the locker room for tests and was cleared to return to the field at one point, but Schwartz said after the game that Lacey couldn’t run well enough for him to have confidence enough to put him back into the game.

“It’s not ligament or anything like that, but there’s potential it could keep him out the rest of the season,” Schwartz said Monday.

Add Lacey to a mounting list of injured members to the secondary this season. Rookie cornerback Bill Bentley has already been lost for the year following shoulder surgery. Louis Delmas has missed eight games with a knee and Amari Spievey is on injured reserve with a concussion. Drayton Florence missed a significant portion of the season, too, after breaking his forearm Week 2 at San Francisco.

Schwartz did speak positively about the possible return of defensive tackle Nick Fairley and tight end Brandon Pettigrew vs. Atlanta Saturday night.

“Well we haven’t put them on IR and if we don’t put them on IR than I think there’s still a hope in our mind that we’ll get them back or at least a chance that we’ll get them back,” he said. “And we’ll just have to see how they continue to respond to treatment. Neither guy was available to play last week and even though they both worked really hard to try to get to that spot, they just weren’t ready.”


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Pettigrew and Fairley out; Delmas will start

Posted by ttwentyman on December 16, 2012 – 3:38 pm

The Lions will be without starters Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) and Nick Fairley (Shoulder) today vs. Arizona.

Neither practiced all this week after leaving last week’s game in Green Bay with the injuries.

Tony Scheffler and Will Heller will pick up the slack in two tight end sets for Pettigrew.

The team will start Sammie Hill in place of Fairley. Andre Fluellen, who signed with the team earlier this week, is active and will be in the defensive tackle rotation.

Louis Delmas is active and will start at safety. Delmas has missed eight games with a left knee injury and has left two other games.

“What we try to do when he’s been out there … he wasn’t able to go last week, but the weeks before that … I think it was the Houston game that he went and played every snap and then had to come out I think midway through the fourth quarter,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said this week when asked how the Lions might use Delmas the rest of the year.

“So we changed it around a little bit and tried to spot him. He still played three quarters or 80 percent of our snaps but just tried to limit him a little bit early and try to keep his availability throughout the game. It’s really not necessarily a pitch count as much as it is just trying to conserve his reps. There’s not a specific number in there, but if we can keep him particularly for the fourth quarter, then that’s beneficial for us.”

Joining Pettigrew and Fairley on the inactive list are: tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard, quarterback Kellen Moore, defensive end Ronnell Lewis and safety Ricardo Silva.

Kris Durham will make his second consecutive start at receiver and Don Carey will start opposite Delmas at strong safety.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 2 Comments »

Pettigrew and Fairley doubtful to play Sunday

Posted by ttwentyman on December 14, 2012 – 5:00 pm

It looks like the Lions could be without tight end Brandon Pettigrew and defensive tackle Nick Fairley Sunday when the team travels to Arizona to take on the Cardinals (4-9).

Both players missed practice all week and are listed as doubtful for Sunday on the injury report.

Pettigrew hurt an ankle in the first quarter of last week’s game at Green Bay. Fairley injured a shoulder in the fourth quarter. Both players did not return to the game.

The Lions have a few different options if Pettigrew is unable to play. Tony Scheffler and Will Heller would be the primary tight ends. Rookie offensive tackle Riley Reiff, who played some tight end in high school, could serve as the third tight end. The Lions also promoted fullback Shaun Chapas from the practice squad. Chapas could also play the third tight end role.

The Lions released receiver Lance Long to make room for Chapas on the active roster.

“(T) Riley (Reiff) has played that,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Friday. “We also have extra wide receivers. We could go a lot of different places.

“And I don’t want to rule Brandon out also. Brandon’s a tough guy and he’s played through a lot. Even though he hasn’t been on the practice field, he doesn’t really need that to be able to get out there on Sunday.

“So we’ll just see where that goes. We’ll have a lot of different groups to be able to bail us out if we have any tight end issues. We went through the whole game basically last time without him.”

The team has listed safety Louis Delmas as questionable with that sore left knee. Delmas played limited snaps two weeks ago against the Colts, but was inactive last week. He’s missed eight games total this season because of the injury.

“What we try to do when he’s been out there … he wasn’t able to go last week, but the weeks before that … I think it was the Houston game that he went and played every snap and then had to come out I think midway through the fourth quarter,” Schwartz said.

“So we changed it around a little bit and tried to spot him. He still played three quarters or 80 percent of our snaps but just tried to limit him a little bit early and try to keep his availability throughout the game.”

Safety Don Carey (knee), cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), cornerback Jacob Lacey (foot, Achilles) and tackle Corey Hilliard (knee) are all listed as probable.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »

Pettigrew and Fairley miss practice again

Posted by ttwentyman on December 14, 2012 – 12:57 pm

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew and defensive tackle Nick Fairley missed practice for a third consecutive time this week, putting into question their availability for Sunday’s game at Arizona.

The Lions will release their official game designations at 4 p.m. today on detroitlions.com.

Pettigrew left last week’s game in Green Bay in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. He’s been wearing a protective boot for most of the week.

Fairley left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. He spoke to reporters earlier in the week and was hopeful he could play Sunday.

The Lions could be in a situation where they have to make a roster transaction to add depth to the tight end group if it’s determined Pettigrew can’t play. The Lions have only Tony Scheffler and Will Heller healthy at this point. They usually have three tight ends active on the game-day roster.

Safety Louis Delmas was also absent from the portion of practice open to the media after being a limited participant in practice on Thursday. Delmas did not play in Green Bay last week.

The team was also without defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch at practice, who was likely getting a day of rest.


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Delmas returns to practice; Pettigrew and Fairley still out

Posted by ttwentyman on December 13, 2012 – 1:07 pm

The Lions got three-fourths of their starting secondary back on the practice field Thursday as they continued preparations for Sunday’s game in Arizona.

Cornerbacks Chris Houston (ankle) and Jacob Lacey (foot/Achilles) and safety Louis Delmas (knee) returned to the portion of practice open to the media.

Delmas hasn’t played since Indianapolis because of that sore left knee, and has missed eight games total this year.

It’s no surprise all three players are eager to play Sunday. The Cardinals have the league’s 32nd-ranked offense and the No. 28 passing offense (190.9 ypg).

The Lions were still without tight end Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) and defensive tackle Nick Fairley (shoulder), who both missed their second consecutive day of practice. Both players left Sunday’s game in Green Bay and did not return.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 2 Comments »

Lions without five starters at practice

Posted by ttwentyman on December 12, 2012 – 1:06 pm

The Lions were without five starters at practice today – four on defense – as they get ready to face the Cardinals in Arizona Sunday.

The team was without cornerbacks Chris Houston and Jacob Lacey, safety Louis Delmas, defensive tackle Nick Fairley and tight end Brandon Pettigrew for the portion of practice open to the media.

Pettigrew left Sunday’s game in Green Bay early in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.

Fairley left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury and didn’t return.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said during his Monday press conference that both players were being evaluated on Monday and they would be monitored this week.

Houston and Lacey have been dealing with ankle and foot injuries for the past few weeks.

Delmas missed the Packers game – his eighth missed game this season – with that sore left knee that’s been bothering him all year.


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Williams, Fairley, Delmas and others questionable for Sunday

Posted by ttwentyman on December 7, 2012 – 5:00 pm

The Lions could potentially have their full compliment of players available to them Sunday in Green Bay.

The team’s Friday injury report is out and no player has been ruled out or are doubtful for Sunday.

Defensive tackle Corey Williams is probably the biggest question mark having missed all three practices this week with a knee injury. He’s officially listed as questionable. The knee has bothered Williams since September, and he’s missed a total of five games this year with the injury.

He only practiced once last week and still played against the Colts.

Safety Louis Delmas (knee) and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (non injury related, rest) missed practice Friday. Delmas is listed as questionable. Vanden Bosch will play.

Joining Williams and Delmas as questionable are: tackle Jeff Backus (hamstring), defensive tackle Nick Fairley (quad), cornerback Chris Houston (ankle), and cornerback Jacob Lacey (foot/Achilles).

Tackle Gosder Cherilus (knees), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (concussion), receiver Kassim Osgood (finger) and linebacker Ashlee Palmer (thumb) are probable.


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Lions without Williams, Delmas and Vanden Bosch at practice

Posted by ttwentyman on December 7, 2012 – 1:05 pm

Defensive tackle Corey Williams missed his third straight day of practice Friday as the Lions continue to prepare for Sunday’s game in Green Bay.

Williams hasn’t practiced all week because of a sore knee. He’s been bothered by the knee since September, and has missed a total of five games this year with the injury. Williams only practiced once last week, though, and still played vs. the Colts.

The team will release their game designations for Sunday at 4 p.m. today on Detroitlions.com.

Safety Louis Delmas (knee) and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck) also missed practice. That’s also been the routine for both players in recent weeks and they’ve still been able to play on Sunday.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley returned to practice after sitting out Thursday with a quad injury. He was still favoring that leg a bit.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »