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.


Detroit Lions — C.J. Mosley, Rob Sims don't practice

ALLEN PARK — Lions defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, who was added late to Wednesday’s injury report, did not practice today (Thursday) because he's a new dad. 

Also left guard Rob Sims didn’t practice because he was under the weather. A flu bug has gone through the locker room since last week.

Defensive end George Johnson, who missed on Wednesday with an illness, returned to work on Thursday.

New cornerback Josh Thomas, who was claimed off waivers from the Jets, was at work wearing No. 24.

Nick Fairley (knee) also did not practice.

The Lions practiced in outdoor temps of 31 degrees in preparation for the game at Chicago on Sunday. The forecast for the Windy City is 38 and sunny.

(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 Caldwell says 'bit of unknown' with Bears' Jimmy Clausen

ALLEN PARK — It was adjustment time when the Lions coaching staff heard early Wednesday night that quarterback Jimmy Clausen would be starting for the Bears instead of Jay Cutler on Sunday in Chicago.

“We had a chance to take a look at him, there’s always still a question of whether they’ll do the same things they’ve been doing with him,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said on Thursday morning. “There’s certainly a bit of an unknown there. There’s enough tape of him in preseason and things of that nature to get a good look at him.’’


Clausen played in three preseason games for the Bears with two touchdowns and one interception in limited play. He’s played garbage time — the Bears were too far behind for a comeback — in three regular season games and was 3 of 9 passing for 42 yards and a 49.3 quarterback rating.

Cutler was benched amid a host of problems including the fact he’s thrown 18 interceptions and the Bears are 5-9.

“Cutler is a little different guy, he’s a pretty incredible QB in terms of athleticism, ability and those kinds of things. He has experience,’’ Caldwell said. “Clausen is very capable though.’’

The Lions need a win on Sunday to clinch a playoff berth.

Caldwell said the Lions will not take Clausen lightly. The Lions have lost games to two backup quarterbacks this season — Cardinals’ Drew Stanton and Buffalo’s Kyle Orton.

Prior to this season Clausen had not played for three seasons while with the Carolina Panthers.

As a rookie in 2010 he started 10 games for the Panthers going 1-9.

(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 chat set for 3 p.m. on Thursday

Join me at 3 p.m. on Thursday for a live chat discussing the Detroit Lions as they prepare to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field. Quarterback Jay Cutler has been benched in favor of Jimmy Clausen who is 1-9 as an NFL starter. Plenty to discuss.

Detroit Lions to face Bears' Jimmy Clausen after Cutler benched

It’s Plan B for the Lions who won’t have to figure out how to stop quarterback Jay Cutler on Sunday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chicago Bears (5-9) will bench Cutler  in favor of Jimmy Clausen when the division rivals meet at Soldier Field.

The Lions (10-4) can clinch a playoff spot with a win.

So far this season, Cutler has 28 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions. Two of those picks came in the Thanksgiving loss to the Lions at Ford Field.

Clausen has completed three of nine attempts in garbage time in three games this season where the Bears didn’t have a chance for a comeback.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013 Clausen played for the Carolina Panthers, but was not active for a game.

He was 1-9 as a rookie starter for the Panthers who drafted him in the second round out of Notre Dame. He threw three touchdowns against nine interceptions and lost two of his nine fumbles.

Still, the Lions cannot take Clausen lightly. 

In the final game of the 2011 season, the Lions played the Packers who had Matt Flynn at quarterback instead of Aaron Rodgers. Easy win? Not so much. Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in the Packers’ 45-41 win at Green Bay.

Detroit Lions Glover Quin named NFC defensive player of week

ALLEN PARK — Detroit Lions veteran safety Glover Quin has been named NFC defensive player of the week.

It was Quin’s interception of Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater late in the second quarter on Sunday that turned the game around. The Lions had been behind 14-0 at that point. They turned it around and won 16-14.

Quin is tied for the lead league with six interceptions. He has one in each of the last three games.

(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 — Three playoff scenarios for Sunday

After watching the Chicago Bears loss on Monday night, the Detroit Lions should not have a problem getting a win on Sunday at Soldier Field. 

The Bears (5-9) were much worse than the 31-15 score indicated. Anything can happen, but the Bears have a day less to prepare and look dysfunctional.

The Lions (10-4) have opened as 4.5-point favorites.

Detroit is currently in first place in the NFC North with a 10-4 record that is identical to the Packers. That Week 3 win over Green Bay at Ford Field was huge. has come up with three playoff scenarios for the Lions on Sunday:
— Detroit clinches NFC North with a win and a Packers loss.
— Detroit clinches a first-round bye with a win, a Packers loss and a Cowboys loss.
— Detroit clinches a playoff spot with a win or an Eagles loss.

The Packers play at Tampa Bay (2-12), while the Cowboys (10-4) host the Colts (10-4). The Eagles (9-5) are at the Redskins (3-11).

The Lions last went to the playoffs in 2011 and clinched the wild-card berth in Week 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.)


Detroit Lions — Jim Caldwell remains mum on playoffs

ALLEN PARK — You can’t trick Lions coach Jim Caldwell into talking about the playoffs. Try a question using any angle and he won’t bite.

He can’t. If he talks about the playoffs, then it opens the door for his players and that is clearly against the Caldwell rules.

All season Caldwell has focused on one game at a time. That has not changed with just two games remaining and playoff talk filling the air.

On Monday he compared it to texting and driving. If you’re texting then you can’t focus on driving.

If the Lions beat the Bears in Chicago on Sunday, they will earn a wild-card berth. If they beat the Bears and then the Packers at Green Bay on Dec. 28 they will win the NFC North.

It’s just not a topic of discussion for Caldwell.

He said his wife and family know better than to bring it up too.

So there you go. 

His focus is real and it spreads to the team.

“You have to earn your way into the playoffs, you can’t talk your way in,’’ Caldwell said.

— Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle had to be carted off the field in the third quarter on Sunday with a knee injury. Caldwell said on Monday they will know more on his status in the next day or two.

— Caldwell said one of Matthew Stafford’s valuable skills is his ability to re-set. Despite starting Sunday’s game with three three-and-outs, Stafford kept pushing.
“He’s like a bit of a riverboat gambler in that regard, with a short memory,’’ Caldwell said. “He goes out and plays hard, if things don’t go quite the way you like them, certainly he’s disappointed about it when he comes off on the sideline. He can re-set pretty quickly, I think that’s a valuable skill at that position.’’

(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 things learned after win over Vikings

Five things learned Sunday after the Lions beat the Vikings 16-14:

1. One win and the Lions are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Winning at the Bears at Chicago on Sunday is the most ideal path. Plus if the Lions beat the Bears, then upset the Packers at Green Bay on Dec. 28, they’ll win the NFC North. These next two games are outside in December. Coach Jim Caldwell has said all along he aims to have an indoor team with an outdoor mentality. 

2. The Packers are beatable. Not only did the Lions top them 19-7 in Week 3, but Buffalo intercepted Aaron Rodgers twice on the way to a win on Sunday. 

3. The Lions’ defense continues to impress. Didn’t look like it early in Sunday’s game, but in the second quarter interceptions by Glover Quin and Darius Slay turned the game around. We all expected the defensive line to be dominant and it has, but the secondary has come up huge at key times all season.

4. Even after losing LaAdrian Waddle in the third quarter, the Lions’ offensive line stepped up big. Not only did they keep Matthew Stafford upright — he was not sacked even once — but the Joique Bell and run game came through late when it mattered. Cornelius Lucas stepped in for Waddle whose knee injury appeared serious. It was the first time Stafford hasn't been sacked since the win over the Falcons on Oct. 26 in London.

5. Jason  Jones take a bow for a sack and blocked field goal. The defensive line is so loaded with talent that Jones admitted after the game that sometimes it’s hard to get a tackle or a sack. He was not complaining. Jones was a good free agent signing before the 2013 season, but got injured early. This year he’s been solid. 

(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 — Suh, Bush, Whitehead active; no surprises among inactives

DETROIT — All the key Detroit Lions are active today against the Vikings at Ford Field.

Running back Reggie Bush (ankle) and linebacker Tahir Whitehead (shoulder) were listed as questionable on Friday’s report, but both are active.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, safety James Ihedigbo and linebacker Josh Bynes, who were all hit by a virus this week, are also active.

Lions inactives are: WR Ryan Broyles, DT Nick Fairley, DT Caraun Reid, DE Larry Webster, G/C Rodney Austin, T Garrett Reynold and QB Kellen Moore.

Vikings inactives: CB Robert Blanton, FB Zach Line, LB Anthony Barr, T Carter Bykowski, G David Yankey, DT Sharrif Floyd and G Charlie Johnson. 


UPDATED: Detroit Lions — Not out of question Ndamukong Suh could be out Sunday

ALLEN PARK — Ndamukong Suh was not participating in Lions practice today in early the portion open to the media. The defensive tackle was out on Thursday because he was under the weather.

Just before Friday's practice, coach Jim Caldwell said he expected Suh would practice, but he was not sure how much work he would do.

Suh has never missed a game due to injury/illness and Caldwell doesn’t expect he’ll miss on Sunday against the Vikings but the coach admitted it’s a possibility.

“I don’t have an indication it will happen, but it’s not out of the question,’’ Caldwell said.

The coach said he doesn’t know how the defense would be without Suh.

“I’m not certain and I certainly don’t want to find out Sunday,’’ Caldwell said.

Linebacker Josh Bynes returned to practice on Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday with an illness.

“You’re going to have bugs hop around, we try to take all the precautions we can, until they come out with a cure for it we’re subject to it just like everybody else in society,’’ Caldwell said.

Darius Slay and Tahir Whitehead were practicing after they appeared on Thursday’s practice report, both with shoulder injuries. It’s uncertain if they will be able to play on Sunday but it’s a good indication that they were able to practice on Friday.

“We’ll see, to be honest with you, we’ll see how it goes the next couple days,’’ Caldwell said.

LaAdrian Waddle has practiced this week on a limited basis and is going through concussion protocol.


Detroit Lions — Ndamukong Suh absent from practice; Reggie Bush returns

ALLEN PARK — Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was under the weather and didn’t practice today (Thursday). 

It's believed to be the first practice he has missed because of illness/injury since he was drafted in 2010. 

Suh has never missed a game due to injury. The only two games he has missed were due to a suspension in 2011.

It was also the second day that linebacker Josh Bynes missed due to an illness.

Reggie Bush, who did not practice on Wednesday, was back at it on Thursday in the portion of practice open to the media.

Coach Jim Caldwell said earlier on Thursday, that he does not think Bush’s season is done. He expects a comeback much like Calvin Johnson has had in the last two weeks.

LaAdrian Waddle (head) and Johnson (ankle) were limited on Wednesday and back at practice on Thursday.

Nick Fairley, who has been out with a knee injury since Oct. 26, also did not practice.

(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 in new phase of rehab

ALLEN PARK — Nick Fairley’s goal is to get back before the end of the season.
Time is running out for the Lions defensive tackle with just three regular season games remaining, but don’t count him out.

“He’s certainly, I think you’ve probably seen him a round a little bit, you can tell his spirits are up, he’s improving which is great,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said on Thursday.

“He’s into a little different phase now in terms of the rehab, hopefully he continues to improve,’’ the coach added.

Fairley injured his knee in the Oct. 26 game in London and has not practiced or played since. The team opted for rest and rehab to see if the situation could be handled without surgery.

The defensive line has played well in his absence with C.J. Mosley starting and Andre Fluellen re-signed to help out.

“Obviously you just don’t find very many guys who are that big, that fast, that strong, that disruptive,’’ Caldwell said of Fairley. “Although we’ve been able to play quite well, C.J. has stepped in and played well. Flu has stepped in and played well.’’

Ndamukong Suh has also taken more snaps, at times more than Caldwell would prefer.

— Reggie Bush didn’t practice on Wednesday but was back on the practice field on Thursday. Clearly Bush is not done for the season.

Caldwell pointed out that a few weeks ago he was asked if we were seeing the demise of Calvin Johnson who responded with 304 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the last two games.

“I kind of like that question because I thought (Johnson) responded in a way that was appropriate,’’ Caldwell said. “You’re going to find Reggie will do the same at some point.’’

— Caldwell would not be more specific on the head injury to LaAdrian Waddle. He was listed on Wednesday’s injury report as limited in practice due to “head”. Caldwell would not say if that translates to concussion.

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