Lawrence Jackson back on the field after a “rough” month

Posted by ttwentyman on December 16, 2011 – 5:26 pm

Defensive end Lawrence Jackson isn’t likely to play in Oakland on Sunday.

Baby steps.

Jackson is just excited to be back on the practice field after missing the last month with a thigh bruise.

“It’s been hell the last couple weeks,” Jackson said after practicing for the first time since early November on Friday. “Just sitting out and trying to figure out the length of time and things like that.”

Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham was asked Friday if he had to re-introduce himself to No. 94 on the practice field because it’s been so long.

“No. No, he knows me real well,” Cunningham joked. “I have done everything except have him come to my house and sleep there.”

Jackson caught a knee under the right thigh against the Bears Nov. 13 and hasn’t been the same since. Jackson explained that it as a perfect hit right between the knee and thigh pads.

“Some injuries show how they are going to play the course earlier than others and this one took a couple of weeks just to show how it’s going to work out,” he said.

“It was rough. Just not really knowing what was going to happen and the obvious reality of IR (being placed on injured reserve) and stuff like that.”

Jackson said after practice that he felt a lot better than he anticipated he would and was happy to be able to a lot of stuff in practice despite being listed as a limited participant on the official report.

Jackson’s status is listed as doubtful for Sunday, so it’ll probably be one more week until he’s in serious contention to get back on the field on game day.

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Delmas, Durant, Fairley, Smith and Wright all questionable for Sunday

Posted by ttwentyman on December 16, 2011 – 5:00 pm

It’ll be down to the wire whether a number of key contributors will suit up for the Lions in Oakland Sunday.

The Lions got a large contingent of players back on the practice field Friday, but most of them are listed as questionable on Friday’s official injury report.

That includes corner Eric Wright and linebacker Justin Durant, who practiced Friday for the first time this week. Both are nursing hamstring injuries.

Also questionable are defensive tackle Nick Fairley (foot), running back Kevin Smith (ankle) and safety Louis Delmas (knee).

Delmas was back at practice in limited fashion on Friday for the first time since spraining his MCL against the Packers on Thanksgiving. He did not participate in individual drills in the portion of practice open to the media, though.

Smith practiced for a third-straight day and continues to look like he’ll play Sunday.

Fairley didn’t participate in practice for a second-straight day on Friday. He instead was running and working off to the side with trainers.

Probable for the Lions against the Raiders are corner Chris Houston (knee), guard Rob Sims (shoulder), safety Amari Spievey (knee) and DE Willie Young (ankle).

Young didn’t practice Friday, working instead with Fairley off to the side with trainers.

Defensive end Lawrence Jackson (thigh bruise) practiced Friday for the first time in a month but is listed as doubtful on Friday’s official injury report.

Cornerback Aaron Berry, who separated a shoulder against the Vikings and hasn’t practiced all week, is also doubtful.

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Lions get a host of players back to practice

Posted by ttwentyman on December 16, 2011 – 1:01 pm

The Lions got a large contingent of players back on the field Friday in the team’s final practice before leaving for Oakland Friday night.

Corner Eric Wright (hamstring), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (thigh bruise) and linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring) all practiced on Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday was the first time Jackson has practiced in nearly a month. He’s missed the team’s last four games with that bruise.

Safety Louis Delmas (knee) was back at practice in limited fashion. He had a helmet but was not participating in individual drills in the portion of practice open to the media.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley (foot) and defensive end Willie Young (ankle) ran off to the side with trainers instead of participating in practice.

Running back Kevin Smith practiced and it continues to look like he’ll play Sunday.

The only player not doing anything at practice was corner Aaron Berry (shoulder).

The official injury report will player’s status for Sunday will be released at 4 p.m. on

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Lions won’t be sleeping on Raiders backup RB Michael Bush

Posted by ttwentyman on December 16, 2011 – 10:59 am

For the second-straight week, it appears the Lions will avoid an opponents premiere running back and instead face the back-up.

Last week, Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson wasn’t able to play against the Lions because of a high ankle sprain. The Lions saw Toby Gerhart.

Gerhart still gained 90 yards on 19 carries, but he wasn’t the big-play threat that Peterson would have been.

The Lions defense could find itself in a similar situation on Sunday in Oakland.

Raiders running back Darren McFadden has missed the better part of the last seven games with a mid-foot sprain. He hasn’t practiced at all this week.

McFadden had 614 yards rushing at the time of the injury (5.4 average).

The Lions will likely see back-up Michael Bush.

Bush, a power back, has rushed for 716 yards and seven touchdown this season. But he isn’t the big-play threat McFadden is.

“He’s a different kind of back,” said Lions coach Jim Schwartz of Bush. “Bush is really, really big and strong, little different running style, but has had some good rushing games.

“They’re a good rushing team, you know, run downhill, powers, and leads, but he also has some stuff he can run on the outside. Bush is surprisingly effective in the pass game. He’s a good player; we’re certainly not going to go to sleep on him—he’s got a lot of good film.”

The Lions shouldn’t sleep on anyone. They rank 27th in the NFL against the run, allowing 136.1 yards per game on the ground.

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Flags could fly early and often in Oakland

Posted by ttwentyman on December 15, 2011 – 12:11 pm

Penalties have certainly been a problem for the Lions over the last month.

In their last four games, they’ve been flagged 40 times for a total of 321 yards. They were penalized eight times against the Panthers, 11 times against the Packers and Saints and 10 times Sunday against the Vikings.

But as bad as it’s been for the Lions, it’s been worse for the Raiders.

Over that same span, the Raiders have been flagged 47 times for 341 yards. They were flagged 12 times for 117 yards back on November 20 against the Vikings.

“It gets frustrating when it continues to happen, but it’s something that we got to continue to just focus on that part of the game,” Raiders tight end Kevin Boss said in a conference call with the Detroit media this week. “It’s just a matter of concentration and some of the personal foul things are just a matter of staying within yourself and not letting those things bother you.

“It can be difficult to deal with, just because it’s drive stoppers and it’s just hurting yourself. So, when you start hurting yourself instead of the opposing team beating you, that’s when it becomes really frustrating.”

I won’t venture any guesses on the number of flags we might see in Oakland on Sunday. However, if I were setting the over/under in Vegas, I might start at 20 and see where it goes.

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Suh: “I’m just happy to be back here with my teammates.”

Posted by Tara Altman on December 14, 2011 – 4:49 pm

“Watching the last two games from home was something that I had to deal with. Obviously, I would have liked to be here with my teammates, but in these circumstances I couldn’t be. I just had to deal with it the best way I knew and move past it. I’m lucky enough to be back now and I’m just happy to be back here with my teammates, getting ready to go to Oakland this weekend.

“It’s always exciting for me to play football, but this will be the first time in the last two weeks that I get to play, so I’m looking forward to that and to being on the road. There’s great odds at stake with this game and it’s all in our hands.

“Watching the defensive line, Nick (Fairley) had a fast start at New Orleans and it was unfortunate that he got nicked up and wasn’t able to finish, but things happen in the game of football and we all understand that injuries and setbacks are always a part of the game. We’re happy to have him back now, and hopefully for this weekend, so that way both Nick and myself will have an opportunity to get back on the field and help the team reach the goals that we have set out for ourselves.

“Losing guys, particularly to injuries, is the name of the NFL, especially late in the year because guys bodies get tired for whatever reasons and injures pop-up. There are also other things that you have to deal with and coach (Schwartz) has said that many, many times. We have everybody that we need in this facility and guys are going to have to step up at particular points because injuries and certain things happen. I think my teammates have done that and I look forward to being a part of it for the last three games that we have for sure and obviously, if we take care of business, we look forward to getting into the playoffs.”

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Help could be on the way for banged-up Lions

Posted by ttwentyman on December 12, 2011 – 6:53 pm

When receiver Rashied Davis is playing in the defensive backfield with the game — and possibly the Lions’ playoff hopes — hanging in the balance, there’s clearly an issue with injuries.

“Obviously, we had a lot of guys that weren’t able to finish the game and again we got some offensive help,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said during Monday’s press conference with the media.

“The whole last couple of drives, pretty much the whole fourth quarter, we didn’t have a nickel defense.”

But help could be to the rescue for Schwartz and the Lions this week.

“We’re going to have a lot of guys that are close this week,” he said. “Including guys that didn’t play in this game.”

That might possibly include safety Louis Delmas, corner Chris Houston, defensive end Lawrence Jackson, defensive tackle Nick Fairley and running back Kevin Smith.

Both Delmas and Houston have missed the Lions’ last two games after suffering sprained MCL’s against the Packers on Thanksgiving.

Schwartz said it was too early to tell definitively on Monday whether some of those players will be back, but is hopeful at least some can return for Sunday’s game in Oakland.

Jackson hasn’t played since the Bears game Oct. 13 with a deep thigh bruise.

Smith, who missed the Vikings game with a high ankle sprain, will have another week to get back on the field. He played after 10 days rest between Thanksgiving and the New Orleans games.

Fairley missed Sunday’s game after re-aggravating a foot injury against the Saints a week prior.

Davis was forced into action Sunday when starting corners Aaron Berry and Eric Wright left with injuries.

Berry hurt a shoulder making a tackle in the in the first half and didn’t return.

“It’s still too early to tell, but the initial test or results sort of lead us to believe that he has a chance to be able to come back,” Schwartz said of Berry on Monday.

Wright (hamstring) was able to come back into the game in the fourth quarter but was only able to play because the Lions were in Cover-2 and he wasn’t running well.

“It was a difficult situation but we were able to get through it,” Schwartz said. “However we did, we got through it.

“Optimistic we will get a significant portion of those guys back. Again, we don’t have anything that is a season-ender.”

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