Blogs > Lions Lowdown

One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.

9/02/2014

Detroit Lions place Kyle Van Noy on short-term injured reserve

ALLEN PARK — Kyle Van Noy, who had core muscle surgery on Thursday, was place on reserve/injured-designated for return on Tuesday.

The Detroit Lions rookie linebacker will be eligible to return to practice in six weeks and can be activated to play after eight weeks.

Van Noy was on the field watching the linebackers during individual practice drills Tuesday. 

To fill his place on the 53-man roster, the Lions re-signed defensive end Darryl Tapp.

Van Noy was not expected to start, but obviously this injury will set him back. Tahir Whitehead was named the starting strong-side linebacker on Monday.

Safeties James Ihedigbo and Don Carey did not participate in the practice today (Tuesday). Both were also out on Monday and neither played in the fourth preseason game.

Ihedigbo told the media late Monday that it was just rest for him and that he expects to play in the season opener on Monday against the Giants.

Veterans do get rest in Jim Caldwell’s system, but usually it’s for just a day here and there.

When reporters left after individual drills, the music was cranked up to simulate crowd noise.

The Lions open the season on Monday against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Kickoff is 7:10 p.m.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Join chat on the Detroit Lions at 3 p.m. on Thursday

Join me at 3 p.m. on Thursday for a chat discussing the Detroit Lions as they prepare for their regular season opener on Monday night at Ford Field against Eli Manning and the New York Giants.





Detroit Lions Ryan Broyles says 'sky's the limit'


ALLEN PARK — Ryan Broyles is feeling good and it shows.

After ACL surgery on each knee and a repaired torn Achilles’ in the last three years, he’s starting to look like the wide receiver the Lions drafted in the second round in 2012.

It’s as good as he’s felt wearing the Honolulu blue and silver.

“That’s for sure, without a doubt —100 percent,’’ Broyles said. “I feel good, I feel like I’m going to continue to get better, get more feel with the quarterbacks, understand the defense and things like that. I really feel the sky’s the limit.’’

Broyles was in the tight competition at wide receiver and obviously survived. He had solid showings in the four preseason games.

“He caught the ball well, he did a very nice job of catching the ball and doing what we call, you dodge one and split two. His run after the catch was certainly very good,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said. “There were a number of times for a while where every single time he touched the ball he converted for a first down.

“... He showed he obviously recovered from his injuries he’s had previously, showed his explosion, nice hands, spatial awareness and had a good sense of what we were trying to do from an offensive standpoint. He was productive and that’s what we look for. He did a nice job,’’ Caldwell added.

Broyles and his wife Mary Beth were in Dallas on Saturday morning when he got word from his agent that he had made the 53-man roster.

“You kind of know what’s going on, throughout the process and how things are going offensively,’’ Broyles said. “... It was a big relief though.’’

So they celebrated by going to Six Flags over Texas and then watching their Oklahoma Sooners slam Louisiana Tech, 48-16.


(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

9/01/2014

Detroit Lions — Three don't work at Labor Day practice


ALLEN PARK — The Lions went through a light practice on Labor Day with three players not participating, but watching on the field.

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who had core muscle surgery on Thursday, was on the field during individual drills. Coach Jim Caldwell said earlier on Monday it’s uncertain how long Van Noy will be out depending on how quickly he heals. Starting Tuesday he can be placed on short-term injured reserve which would open a roster spot until his return.

Safeties Don Carey and James Ihedigbo were also on the field, but not working.
Ihedigbo and Carey also did not play in the final preseason game on Thursday. 

Caldwell was asked about Ihedigbo earlier Monday and would not offer specifics on his injury. He referred to the injury report which will not come out until Thursday for the Lions since they play on Monday night.

Also rookie TJ Jones (shoulder) will not work because he’s on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions — Nick Fairley, Tahir Whitehead, LaAdrian Waddle listed as starters on depth chart


ALLEN PARK — The Lions have released their depth chart prior to the first regular season game, clearing up questions at a few positions.

Nick Fairley, who was demoted to second string in training camp, is listed as a starter at defensive tackle. 

LaAdrian Waddle, who was in a battle with Corey Hilliard, will start at right tackle.

Tahir Whitehead, who started the final two preseason games, will start at strongside linebacker.

The other starters were obvious including Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis at cornerback, along with Glover Quin and James Ihedigbo at safety.

Jim Caldwell was asked about the starters at his lunchtime press conference and would not answer.

This depth chart could change before the opener on Sept. 8 against the New York Giants at Ford Field.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions Jim Caldwell on Van Noy, Ihedigbo, NFL domestic abuse policy and more


ALLEN PARK — Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell addressed the media on Labor Day covering a number of issues.

 Here are the highlights:

— Short-term injured reserve tag still a possibility for linebacker Kyle Van Noy who underwent core muscle surgery on Thursday morning. He returned from Philadelphia on Sunday night. Caldwell said a final decision has not been made on his status. They could make the move on Tuesday, which would open a spot on the 53-man roster until his return. "A lot of it depends on him and how quickly he heals,'' Caldwell said.

— James Ihedigbo didn’t travel to Buffalo for the final preseason game on Thursday because he was getting treatment for an undisclosed injury. Caldwell would offer no specifics, said the information will be on the injury report. 

— While Caldwell treats his players like men, he does give them direction for their lives away from the team. He will address the NFL’s new domestic abuse policy with them. “We will talk about it in detail,’’ Caldwell said.

— The coach would not say whether Corey Hilliard or LaAdrian Waddle will start at right tackle. He would also not name the starting strong-side linebacker. The depth chart for Monday’s game has yet to be released.

— Caldwell said Kellen Moore’s play in the preseason games affected their decision to keep three quarterbacks. He wouldn’t say if Moore is No. 2 or No. 
3.

The team practices at 3:35 p.m. 

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

8/31/2014

Detroit Lions — George Winn, Rodney Austin among 10 named to practice squad


All familiar names and no surprises among the 10 players the Detroit Lions named to the practice squad Sunday. All 10 had been cut as the Lions got to 53 men on Saturday and had to clear waivers.

The 10 are:  G Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR Andrew Peacock, DT Xavier Proctor, CB Mohammed Seisay, LB Julian Stanford, TE Jordan Thompson, T Michael Williams and RB George Winn.

Austin was in a battle with Travis Swanson at the guard/center position. Austin, who was undrafted out of Elon, was on the practice squad in 2013 until he was signed to the active roster in late November.

Winn had a particularly good camp and was a standout in preseason games. He was undrafted in 2013 and played on practice squads of five NFL teams. Should Joique Bell get injured, Winn could step in as the power back.

Michael Williams, who is making the transition from tight end to tackle, was in a battle with Cornelius Lucas for a roster spot. Williams has made good strides since the change in the offseason, but a season on the practice squad will benefit him.

The Lions didn’t bring back cornerback Chris Greenwood who was eligible for the practice squad.

Practice squad players make a minimum of $6,300 per week for 17 weeks — $107,100. 

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions — Kellen Moore sticks around, Boise State fans thriilled


Kellen Moore is huge in Idaho. 

Probably it has something to do with the quarterback’s 50-3 record at Boise State as a starter from 2008-2011. 

So you can imagine a good part of Idaho, heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday when the Detroit Lions kept three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster including Moore. 

How do we know? Boise State fans are quite vocal on Twitter and have been since Moore arrived in Detroit

It was not a given that Moore would remain on the roster. While coach Jim Caldwell has kept three quarterbacks in the past, there were so many questions at different positions that there was no absolute answer. Caldwell had said it would depend on numbers at other positions.

But the way Moore played in the four preseason games would have made it very difficult to cut him.

Moore out-performed Dan Orlovsky in the preseason. Yet Moore has never taken a snap in a regular season NFL game. Orlovsky is entering his 10th season.

Moore, a coach’s kid, seems to have a good grasp of the new offense. It would have been interesting — especially in the final preseason game — to see going against a starting defense.

He doesn’t have the arm of Matthew Stafford, but not many do.

Stafford has said Moore is as cool as a cucumber and always knows where to go with the ball.

He wasn’t the product of a system at Boise State like, for instance, Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. Moore was the real deal for the Broncos. Yet, he went undrafted in 2012. The Lions signed him as a free agent immediately after that draft.

It will be interesting to see if he stays as the No. 3 quarterback or whether he’s active in the regular season opener as the No. 2.

 Lions’ fans have started to see what Boise State fans have known for years.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


8/30/2014

Detroit Lions — Complete 53-man roster; those who were cut


The Detroit Lions cut their roster to 53 men today:

Offense
Quarterbacks (3) — Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky, Kellen Moore.
Wide receivers (6) — Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Jeremy Ross, Ryan Broyles, Kevin Ogletree, Corey Fuller.
Tight ends (3) — Brandon Pettigrew, Joe Fauria, Eric Ebron.
Running backs (5) — Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Theo Riddick, Montell Owens and FB Jed Colins
Offensive line (8) — Riley Reiff, Rob Sims, Dominic Raiola, Larry Warford, Corey Hilliard, LaAdrian Waddle, Travis Swanson, Cornelius Lucas.

Defense
Defensive ends (5) — Ziggy Ansah, Jason Jones, George Johnson, Devin Taylor, Larry Webster.
Defensive tackles (4) — Ndmaukong Suh, Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley, Caraun Reid.
Linebackers (6) — DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Tahir Whitehead, Ashlee Palmer, Kyle Van Noy, Travis Lewis
Cornerbacks (5) — Rashean Mathis, Darius Slay, Bill Bentley, Cassius Vaughn, Nevin Lawson
Safeties (5) — Glover Quin, James Ihedigbo, Don Carey, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Jerome Couplin.

Special teams 
Long snapper — Don Muhlbach
Punter — Sam Martin
Kicker — Nate Freese

Those who were released:
Running backs: Mikel Leshoure, George Winn, Emil Igwenagu.
Wide receivers: Kris Durham, Andrew Peacock, Patrick Edwards.
Tight ends: Michael Egnew, Jordan Thompson.
Offensive linemen: Rodney Austin, Garrett Reynolds, Michael Williams, Darren Keyton
Defensive ends: Darryl Tapp
Defensive tackles: Andre Fluellen, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, Xavier Proctor
Linebackers: Brandon Hepburn, Julian Stanford, Shamari Benton
Cornerbacks: Mohammed Seisay, Chris Greenwood
Safeties: Nate Ness

Detroit Lions — Bill Bentley only survivor of 3 CBs drafted in 2012


Lions GM Martin Mayhew, a former NFL cornerback, sent out a warning this spring to the three cornerbacks he drafted in 2012. He said if a corner doesn’t “get it” by his third season he never will.

Of those three — Bill Bentley, Chris Greenwood and Jonte Green — only Bentley remains on the roster. Green was released earlier in the week, while Greenwood was cut today (Saturday) as the Lions work their way to getting to 53 men by 4 p.m.

Greenwood, who played at Albion, missed his rookie season after sustaining an abdominal injury during OTAs. He started last season on the practice squad before seeing action in three games late in the season.

Green played in nine games in 2013 with a pair of starts after playing in 15 games as a rookie.

Bentley seemed to have found a home as the nickel last season when he played in 13 games with five starts.

Final roster cuts are due at 4 p.m.

So far rookie cornerback, undrafted out of William & Mary, is still on the roster.
Mohammed Seisay has been cut, but he’s a possibility for the practice squad.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions — Kris Durham released along with Leshoure, Winn, others


The Lions have parted ways with wide receiver Kris Durham, who played with Matthew Stafford at Georgia. It was first reported by Free Press’ Dave Birkett.

Durham, who is 6-6, was the No. 2 wide receiver in 2013 and had the second-most receptions behind Calvin Johnson.

He, Stafford and Johnson — who all have offseason homes in Atlanta — worked out together in the offseason at Georgia Tech or “enemy territory” as Durham called it.

Even though Stafford is a close friend, Durham said when it came to football he was direct, no special favors.

There was quite a battle at wide receiver for a roster spot with Durham definitely in the mix with Kevin Ogletree, Ryan Broyles and Corey Fuller.

Also released today were running backs Mikel Leshoure and George Winn, along with offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds, defensive end Darryl Tapp, cornerback Mohammed Seisay, linebacker Shamari Benton (Central Michigan, Brother Rice) and linebacker Brandon Hepburn.

 The deadline to get the roster to 53 men is 4 p.m. today.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions — With Mikel Leshoure gone, only Nick Fairley remains from 2011 draft


Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure was waived today, according to multiple reports. Leshoure was given plenty of chances in training camp and the preseason, but obviously it didn't work.

That leaves only Nick Fairley still on the roster from the 2011 Lions’ draft.

They used to say it takes five years to adequately judge a team’s draft class, but I think we can jump the gun on this one.

Miserable, lousy, disastrous — pick one.

Let’s recap:
— Fairley was the 13th overall pick. He has not lived up to that designation. He’s just been too inconsistent. So much so that the Lions did not pick up his option for the 2015 season. He was demoted to second string in the preseason and is not a lock to start on Sept. 8.

— Titus Young was the second-round pick (44th overall). The Lions must have thought he was over issues that had gotten him suspended at Boise State and in high school. He was released in February 2013. Young has been arrested multiple times in California. 

— Leshoure was the 57th overall pick in the second round. His first offseason was disastrous (I realize I’m using that word often) with two marijuana-related arrests that led to a two-game suspension. He missed his rookie season with an Achilles injury.

— Linebacker Doug Hogue was taken in the fifth round. He played special teams as a rookie and was released mid-season in 2012.

— Johnny Culbreath, an offensive tackle, was drafted in the seventh round. He spent his rookie season on injured reserve and then had a marijuana-related arrest. He was cut before training camp in 2012.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


8/29/2014

Detroit Lions — Kellen Moore makes a case to be No. 2 quarterback


Even though Kellen Moore outplayed Dan Orlovsky in the preseason, it’s likely Moore will remain behind Orlovsky on the Detroit Lions quarterback depth chart — if the Lions keep three quarterbacks.

Caldwell has kept three in the past, but has not committed to that for this season. He has said it will depend on the numbers at other positions.

It will be one of the more interesting decisions to watch when the 53-man roster is due at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

If they don’t keep three quarterbacks, the practice squad is a possibility for Moore.

Moore had another good game in the 23-0 win over Buffalo on Thursday night. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 172 yards, with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions. He completed 68.6 percent of his passes in the preseason, never threw an interception and finished with a passer rating of 108.4.

Moore is set to make $570,000 this season. If he goes to the practice squad it would be considerably less. Practice squad pays a minimum of $6,300 a week for 17 weeks ($107,100). 

Moore, who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Boise State in 2012, has never taken a snap in an NFL regular season game.

Orlovsky, who has a one-year $920,000 deal, was signed after Shaun Hill went to the Rams. Orlovsky has the experience that Moore lacks.

He and Jim Caldwell worked together in 2011 with the Indianapolis Colts, the season that Peyton Manning didn’t play. The Colts went 2-14 that season and  the only two wins came in December with Orlovsky starting. That’s why Caldwell likes him more than Lions’ fans do.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

8/28/2014

Detroit Lions rookie Kyle Van Noy undergoes surgery on core muscle


Rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy underwent a surgical procedure to repair a core muscle injury on Thursday morning in Philadelphia. The Detroit Lions made the announcement prior to the preseason game at Buffalo.

The team released this statement: "Kyle Van Noy underwent a successful surgical procedure today due to a core muscle injury. We will continue to monitor Kyle's progress and provide updates when appropriate."

Van Noy was held out of the third preseason game after feeling a pain in his abdomen the day before. 

No word on how long he will miss. It’s likely that Tahir Whitehead will start at strongside linebacker. He’s starting his second straight preseason game after a solid effort with three sacks against the Jaguars last week.

The Lions face a 4 p.m. deadline on Saturday to get the roster to 53. They could make a decision by then whether Van Noy has a chance to return this season,  whether they’ll put him on short-term injured reserve or shut him down for the season.

Van Noy said last week until now he’s never missed a game due to injury.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

8/27/2014

Detroit Lions — Five to watch in preseason game at Buffalo Bills


Jim Caldwell has not shared his plan for Thursday night’s final preseason game. He has said it won’t be a blanket deal — like you won’t see the whole starting offense or defense on the field for a certain amount of time. 

The Lions will play the Bills in Buffalo. Kickoff is 7 p.m. and the game is televised on WXYZ-TV in metro Detroit.

Here are five Lions to watch:

1. Corey Fuller is still on the bubble. The second-year wide receiver has one reception in each of the first three games. That came on a 21-yarder in the preseason opener for a touchdown. Caldwell said this week that Fuller has “tremendous upside.” No doubt about that. Trouble is only so many spots are open and it appears Kris Durham and Ryan Broyles have the edge over Fuller who go back to the practice squad.

2. Mikel Leshoure is not a sure bet for the 53-man roster. The running back has been solid in the first three preseason games with 23 carries for 98 yards (4.2 yards per carry). Reggie Bush and Joique Bell will get the bulk of the work, but running backs get hurt so they need depth. Is Leshoure the guy? Or will it be ...

3. George Winn has been impressive through training camp and the preseason. He has 21 carries for 61 yards (29 yards per carry) and a pair of touchdowns. Winn, who has undrafted in 2013, has spent time on practice squads for five NFL teams, most recently Dallas. In the preseason he has spent more time on special teams than Leshoure. Can’t read too much into that, but it could weight in Winn’s favor.

4. Kellen Moore will likely play most of the second half. If Caldwell has made a decision on whether he’ll keep two or three quarterbacks, he hasn’t shared. Moore had a solid effort in the opening preseason game, he could help his chances with a solid effort.

5. Nick Fairley obviously is a lock for the 53-man roster. But if the defensive tackle gets a chance he needs to prove he’s worthy of being a starter once again.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions – Five funny moments from kickoff lunch


DETROIT — Five things that cracked me up at Wednesday’s Detroit Lions Kickoff Lunch at Ford Field:

– Matthew Stafford, who played at Georgia, had a quick reply to an audience question about how long it took him to get used to the fact he was throwing to a guy (Calvin Johnson) from Georgia Tech: “About one practice.’’

— Dominic Raiola’s Hawaiian shirt. Most of the players were dressed business casual and so was Raiola, but the shirt was a stand-out and it was mentioned by Rob Sims when he answered a fan question about best dressed player on the offensive line. He named Raiola, who is from Hawaii, despite the shirt. Sims said Riley Reiff was the offensive lineman with the most need for fashion direction.

— Stephen Tulloch was asked which sport he would play if not in NFL. He said he’d be a point guard, a double-double guy. He’s listed as 5-11 which might be generous.

— Golden Tate got so worked up talking about the Lions’ possibilities that he apologized. It’s been very clear all through the offseason that Tate is excited about what he sees on the team.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Transcript of today's chat on the Lions

If you missed today's chat on the Lions, check out the transcript here. We spent much time discussing the roster — the final cuts are due at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Lions play their fourth preseason game — at Buffalo tonight (Thursday).  Join me at 3 p.m. next Thursday, Sept. 4 for the next chat. Note the time change.