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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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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 12 Comments »

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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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 31 Comments »

Quaterback Matthew Stafford participates in Lions practice again Friday

Posted by ttwentyman on September 28, 2012 – 12:01 pm

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was on the practice again Friday and looks to be in line to start Sunday vs. the Vikings.

Official game designations will be released on Detroitlions.com at 4 p.m.

Stafford missed Wednesday’s practice after aggravating a hip injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Titans. He was back on the practice field on Thursday and was listed as limited in the official injury report.

Also practicing in the portion open to the media Friday was tight end Tony Scheffler. Scheffler was also limited in Thursday’s practice, his first since injuring a calf against the 49ers in Week 2.

The Lions had almost their full compliment of players on the practice field Friday as they continue to prepare for Sunday’s matchup with the Vikings at Ford Field. The only players missing practice were: safety Louis Delmas, defensive tackle Corey Williams and linebacker Travis Lewis.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz has already ruled Williams out for Sunday after he underwent knee surgery on Tuesday.


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Stafford and Scheffler listed as limited; Spievey shows up on injury report

Posted by ttwentyman on September 27, 2012 – 4:00 pm

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was back on the practice field today but was listed as “limited” on the official injury report. Stafford did not practice Wednesday after aggravating a hip injury in Sunday’s loss in Tennessee.

“It’s a good step,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “I’m feeling better today than I was yesterday.”

It seems likely Stafford will play Sunday vs. the Vikings as long as he doesn’t suffer a setback.

The Lions are also hoping tight end Tony Scheffler will be available Sunday. Scheffler also returned to practice in a limited fashion today. He hasn’t practiced since suffering a calf injury against the 49ers in Week 2.

Also listed as limited on the official injury report were: linebacker Justin Durant (back), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (calf), guard Rob Sims (knee), running back Mikel Leshoure (groin) and safety Amari Spievey (groin).

Speivey was not listed on Wednesday’s injury report.

Defensive tackle Corey Williams did not practice today and Lions head coach Jim Schwartz disclosed afterward that Williams underwent knee surgery Tuesday and will not play Sunday against the Vikings. He is week-to-week moving forward, according to Schwartz.

Linebacker Travis Lewis (quad) and safety Louis Delmas (knee) also did not practice.

Receiver Calvin Johnson was a full participant after being limited Wednesday with a ankle injury. Offensive tackle Corey Hilliard (elbow) and receiver Titus Young (knee) were also full participants.


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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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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 2 Comments »

TE Tony Scheffler doubtful for Sunday; CB Jacob Lacey questionable

Posted by ttwentyman on September 21, 2012 – 4:00 pm

Lions tight end Tony Scheffler is officially listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game in Tennessee with a calf injury. Scheffler was injured in last week’s loss to the 49ers and hasn’t practiced all week.

The designation will likely lead to bigger roles for tight end Will Heller and rookie receiver Ryan Broyles in the passing game. Broyles was active for the first time last week against the 49ers, but did not get into the game.

Also doubtful for Sunday are: safety Louis Delmas (knee) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quad).

Defensive tackle Corey Williams, who practiced for the first time Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday with a sore knee, is listed as questionable. He was limited Friday.

Cornerback Jacob Lacey showed up on Friday’s injury report for the first time this week with a toe injury, and is also questionable. Lacey was limited in practice Friday. The Lions would use either Jonte Green or new signee Jerome Murphy in the nickel if Lacey isn’t able to play.

The team listed cornerbacks Bill Bentley (concussion) and Chris Houston (ankle) as probable, along with receiver Calvin Johnson.

Johnson was a full participant in practice Friday after being limited Thursday.

For the Titans, defensive tackles Mike Martin (foot) and Sen’Derrick Marks (foot), running back Javon Ringer (elbow) and offensive tackle Mike Otto (finger/knee) are questionable.

Starting middle linebacker Colin McCarthy (ankle) won’t play.


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TE Tony Scheffler still absent from practice; DT Corey Williams returns

Posted by ttwentyman on September 21, 2012 – 12:04 pm

Tight end Tony Scheffler was absent from the portion of practice open to the media for a third straight day today with a calf injury.

The Lions will release the injury report at 4 p.m. on Detroitlions.com, with game designations for Sunday, but it’s become unlikely Scheffler considering he has missed every practice this week.

If he can’t go Sunday in Tennessee, rookie receiver Ryan Broyles could have a bigger role in the offense with some different packages.

Also missing from practice were: safety Louis Delmas (knee) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quad).

Defensive tackle Corey Williams, who missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a sore knee, was back on the practice field Friday.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 1 Comment »

Calvin Johnson limited on injury report; Bentley full participant

Posted by ttwentyman on September 20, 2012 – 4:02 pm

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson was back on the practice field Thursday, after sitting out Wednesday with a sore ankle, but did so in limited fashion, according to Thursday’s injury report. Johnson was listed as “limited” on Thursday’s report with an ankle injury.

He didn’t seem too worried about it, though, when talking with the media after practice.

“Foot’s good,” he said. “It felt good today to get out there, stretch it out a little bit, full practice.”

Johnson is expected to play and start Sunday in Tennessee.

Cornerback Bill Bentley participated in practice for a second time this week, and was upgraded from limited on Wednesday to a full participant Thursday. All that means is Bentley was cleared for contact after missing last week’s 49ers game with a concussion.

Bentley and cornerback Chris Houston, who was also a full participant in practice Thursday, seem to be in line to start Sunday in Tennessee.

Tight end Tony Scheffler missed practice again Thursday with a calf injury. He also missed Wednesday and his status for Sunday is still in question.

The official game designations for Sunday are released Friday at 4 p.m.

Defensive tackle Corey Williams (knee), safety Louis Delmas (knee) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quad) were all listed as out on Thursday’s injury report.


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Calvin Johnson back at practice; Scheffler still out

Posted by ttwentyman on September 20, 2012 – 12:02 pm

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson was back on the practice field today, after sitting out Wednesday with a sore ankle. Johnson missed last Wednesday’s practice with a foot injury, but wasn’t limited against the 49ers and should play Sunday against the Titans.

Cornerback Bill Bentley participated in practice for a second time this week, after returning Wednesday from a concussion. Bentley and cornerback Chris Houston seem in line to start Sunday in Tennessee.

Tight end Tony Scheffler missed practice again today with a calf injury. He also missed Wednesday and his status for Sunday is still in question.

The official game designations for Sunday are released Friday at 4 p.m.

If Scheffler can’t play Sunday, rookie receiver Ryan Broyles could play a role in Sunday’s game plan.

Defensive tackle Corey Williams (knee), safety Louis Delmas (knee) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quad) also sat out today.


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Cosell: There’s one play that encapsulates Stafford’s 2011 season (with video)

Posted by ttwentyman on May 17, 2012 – 2:09 pm

NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell is well respected around NFL coaching circles. His job is to essentially pour over hours and hours of game film and I tend to respect his opinion more than others because of the time he puts into the film preparation.

In Cosell’s latest blog post on NFL Films he talks about the rise of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

“I had not carefully looked at their tape since January, and I always find it fascinating to revisit players, especially quarterbacks, with a fresh (and hopefully different) perspective,” Cosell wrote.

Cosell picked out one play from last year that encapsulates what he likes most about each player. In the case of Stafford, it was a 36-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Scheffler in Week 2 against the Chiefs.

“Go back to the second week of the 2011 season, against the Kansas City Chiefs. Stafford threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tony Scheffler that few quarterbacks would have attempted,” Cosell wrote.

“It began with his subconscious and intuitive belief that he could make the throw, and then it featured rare velocity and pinpoint accuracy. It was a snapshot of Stafford’s outstanding season, the kind of throw that distinguishes great NFL passers.

“When you get a chance to see every throw quarterbacks make, and just as importantly, the ones they don’t make, you get a clearly defined picture of the difference. Stafford is only in the early stages of his career, but there’s no question he’s near the top of the charts when it comes to throwing ability. The more snaps he takes, and the more he learns, the better he will get.”

Coming from Cosell, Stafford should take that as a great compliment.

P.S. I always love watching this highlight for the simple fact of Scheffler’s touchdown celebration.


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