The 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.
Tags: Calvin Johnson, Louis Delmas, Patrick Edwards
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 2 Comments »
The Lions have signed 12 players to futures contracts.
The list includes: receiver Patrick Edwards, cornerback Lionel Smith, guard Rodney Austin, cornerback Conroy Black, receiver Troy Burrell, linebacker Carmen Messina, running back Devin Moore, cornerback Ross Weaver, receiver Lance Long, receiver Dominique Curry, receiver Terrence Austin and receiver Chastin West.
Curry spent time with the Lions in training camp and Long was with the team for a stretch during the regular season.
Terrence Austin spent 2010 and 2011 with the Redskins, playing in 18 games with 15 catches for 184 yards.
West played in 12 games with the Jaguars in 2011 and had 13 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Tags: Carmen Messina, Chastin West, Conroy Black, Devin Moore, Dominique Curry, Don Carey, Lance Long, Lionel Smith, Patrick Edwards, Rodney Austin, Ross Weaver, Terrence Austin, Troy Burrell
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 64 Comments »
Rodney Austin played his college football at small Elon University in North Carolina, but he made a big impression on Lions coaches in training camp.
“For a guy, small college that size, he’s made a lot of positive impressions on us,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of Austin before the Raiders preseason game. “Whether he’s playing guard or center, to show us that he can really take on the center role some and do that as well as play guard, which we feel is a really good position for him.
“We’ll see, but you know, after the first three weeks in pads and the first two preseason games, he’s one young guy to watch.”
His steady play through the preseason wasn’t enough to earn Austin a spot on the initial 53-man roster in a crowded offense line group, but it did win him one the team’s eight spots on the practice squad.
Austin cleared waivers Saturday and was signed to squad.
The Lions also added linebacker Carmen Messina, cornerback Ross Weaver, running back Stephfon Green and receiver Patrick Edwards to their practice squad Saturday.
Messina had a good training camp and preseason but was beat out for the seventh linebacker spot on the 53-man roster by second-year player Doug Hogue.
The Lions have three spots remaining on their practice squad.
Tags: Carmen Messina, Patrick Edwards, Rodney Austin, Ross Weaver, Stephfon Green
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 18 Comments »
The work didn’t stop for Lions general manager Martin Mayhew or president Tom Lewand when the draft ended Saturday night. The Lions instantly hit the phones to try and sign undrafted rookies to free agent deals.
With rookie mini-camp beginning in nine days, the Lions have agreed to terms with a number of rookie free agents, according to various reports.
The Lions won’t officially announce their undrafted rookie free agent signings until those players have taken a physical and signed their contracts. However, in an interview with Mike O’Hara and Ken Brown on WJR last night, Mayhew did single out Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and Houston receiver Patrick Edwards as two players he’s particularly excited about.
“The winningest quarterback ever, 50-3,” Mayhew said of Moore. “The guy is very talented (and a) very cerebral quarterback and understands the game, son of a coach. He has a good arm and is very accurate.
“He anticipates things really well. That’s the one thing our scouts and coaches really talked about. He really knows where to go with the ball and he gets the ball there before the receiver comes out of his break. The guy is very talented and we were very fortunate to be able to get him.”
The Lions typically bring in more than three quarterbacks to training camp, but Moore looks to have a great opportunity to make the roster behind Matthew Stafford and backup Shaun Hill.
Edwards (5-9, 172) had over 4,500 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns in four years at Houston. He also scored two touchdowns returning punts.
“This guy has also been one of the productive guys in college football the last couple seasons,” Mayhew said of Edwards. “He had (1,752) yards receiving last year, 19.7 yards average per catch and he’s going to be one of our free agents that’s really another talented offensive weapon.
“He’s very fast. That Houston offense throws the ball around quit a bit. He was one of those run-and-shoot receivers. He caught like 89 balls last year, I think, so he caught a ton of balls. He’s been a three-year starter for them. He has over 4,500 yards in his career. He’s another guy who we think has a really good chance.”
Here is the unofficial list of the Lions’ undrafted rookie free agents thus far:
QB Kellen Moore, Boise State
WR Patrick Edwards, Houston
WR Troy Burrell, Wayne State
WR Jared Karstetter, Washington State
TE Alex Gottlieb, William & Mary
OG Rodney Austin, Elon
OT Quinn Barham, Penn State
OG J.C. Oram, Weber State
LB Carmen Messina, New Mexico
LB Ronnie Sneed, Kentucky
DT Michael Cosgrove, Idaho
DE Eddie McClam, Old Dominion
K Derek Dimke, Illinois
CB Alonzo Lawrence, Mississippi Golf Coast Community College
G Pat Boyle, Temple
TE Austin Wells, Northern Iowa
RB Stephon Greene, Penn State
Tags: Kellen Moore, Martin Mayhew, Patrick Edwards, Tom Lewand
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 65 Comments »