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.

10/22/2014

Transcript of chat on Detroit Lions

If you missed Thursday's chat on the Detroit Lions, here is the transcript. The Lions (5-2) will play the Atlanta Falcons (2-5) at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday. We had much discussion about Calvin Johnson, injuries and, of  course, Ryan Broyles. Game time on Sunday is 9:30 a.m. It will be televised nationally on FOX.

10/21/2014

Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson has started to run


Calvin Johnson is running again, but still no guarantees that he’ll be ready to play on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons in London.

The Detroit Lions wide receiver was interviewed Tuesday morning on the NFL Network by Steve Wyche and Jordan Babineaux.

“I’ll tell you this much, I’m getting better and better on a daily basis,’’ Johnson said in the interview. “So we’re just going to keep on. I’m going on that track; I’m working with the training staff a ton. We’re getting a lot of good work in and going in the right direction.”

Johnson has missed the last two games (the Lions won both) and was not 100 percent in the two games prior due to a sprained right ankle. But now he said he’s back running.

“That’s a great thing for me right now. I wasn’t doing that last week,’’ he said on the NFL Network.


While sidelined, Johnson has had more of a chance to watch the Lions No. 1 ranked defense.

 “It’s extremely exciting right now. It’s great for me to be sitting on the sideline being able to watch those guys go out there. I kind of want to go out there and play defensive end; I told Ziggy (Ansah) let me get a snap, let me try to get a sack (laughing). I want to rush off the edge and get one of those sack fumbles.”

The Lions flew to London on Monday night. They will practice southwest of the city Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

They play the Falcons (2-5) on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.

The game kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and will air to a national TV audience on FOX.

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

10/20/2014

Detroit Lions sign TE Kellen Davis


ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions have signed tight end Kellen Davis, who played at Michigan State. He worked out for the Lions last week.

The Lions are incredibly thin at tight end. They leave for London tonight to play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Joe Fauria (ankle) and Eric Ebron (hamstring) did not play on Sunday. It’s unclear if either will be ready to play in London. Fauria has missed four games with an ankle sprain. It was the first game out for Ebron who injured his hamstring Wednesday in practice.

Brandon Pettigrew played the entire game against the Saints, but was on the trainer’s table having his right leg/ankle worked on at one point.

Jordan Thompson was signed from the practice squad. A pass from Matthew Stafford bounced off his hands into the Saints' Kenny Vaccaro's mitts for an interception.

Davis, who is 6-7 and 265 pounds, was cut by the New York Giants after training camp. He has also worked out for the Saints, Ravens and Browns.

He was a fifth-round draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 2008 and played there through 2012. 

In 2013 he played 15 regular season games for the Seattle Seahawks with four starts.  He had three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown. 

He didn’t played in the first two playoff games but not in the Super Bowl.

Also the Lions released safety Jerome Couplin and signed WR Ifeanyi Momah, who is 6-7, to 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.)

10/19/2014

Detroit Lions — Five standouts in win over New Orleans Saints


It was definitely a team win for the Detroit Lions who beat the New Orleans Saints 24-23 on Sunday at Ford Field.

Here are five Lions who stood out:

1. Golden Tate had career highs with 10 catches and 154 receiving yards. His 73-yard touchdown is his second longest in his career. That touchdown was the catalyst that gave the Lions a chance to win late in the game.


2. Corey Fuller’s first-ever touchdown catch was the game winner. He said he had the easy part, but that took some work to get both feet down. He had just three catches but all were impressive for the second-year player who is getting more targets with Calvin Johnson out.

3. Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions, but he also threw two touchdown passes. That fourth-quarter game-winning drive was the 13th in his career. There was a time a few years ago he was briefly called The Comeback Kid. It was also his ninth game-winning drive with less than two minutes left. Also, he did complete 68 percent of his passes. Jim Caldwell’s goal is for Stafford to complete at least 62 percent in each game. In four of the five wins, Stafford has gone over the 62-percent mark.

4. Glover Quin’s interception, his third of the season, kept the Lions in it. This was no fluke. Caldwell said Quin’s football IQ is off the charts. His teammates talked about his preparation.

5. James Ihedigbo has proven what a solid free agent signing he was. He had the only sack of Drew Brees along with a fumble recovery and eight tackles. Dig hits hard and plays with such an intensity. He’s one solid reason the defense is rated No. 1 in the NFL.

(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 — Calvin Johnson, Eric Ebron out; Saints' Jimmy Graham active


DETROIT — Calvin Johnson will not play today against the Saints. The Detroit Lions wide receiver had been listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. This is the second straight game Johnson has missed with an ankle sprain.

The Lions’ offense will also be without tight end Eric Ebron who tweaked a hamstring in Wednesday’s practice and didn’t practice on Thursday and Friday. He was doubtful for the game.

Tight end Jordan Thompson was signed from the practice squad to fill in at tight end where Joe Fauria (ankle) remains out.

Brandon Pettigrew said Thompson, who will be playing in his first NFL game, is the smartest player in the tight ends room.

Linebacker Travis Lewis (quad) was placed on injured reserve on Saturday to make room on the roster to sign tight end Thompson.

Other inactives: Quarterback Kellen Moore, Theo Riddick (hamstring), Larry Webster and Garrett Reynolds. 

Saints tight end JImmy Graham (shoulder) is active. Inactives for the Saints: FB Erik Lorig, WR Joe Morgan, WR Nick Toon, DE Brandon Deaderick, LB Kyle Knox, LB Ramon Humber, and CB Patrick Robinson.

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

10/17/2014

UPDATED: Detroit Lions — Calvin Johnson not ruled out for Sunday


ALLEN PARK — Calvin Johnson has not officially been shut down for  Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

The Detroit Lions wide receiver missed last Sunday’s game at the Vikings with a sprained ankle. He has not practiced all week.

“You know I’ve been surprised before, he’s an unusual guy. Just talking to him yesterday after practice he’s feeling good and coming along. Miracles have happened,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said.

“It would be fairly close (to a miracle) in some cases, but in this particular case, he’s a different guy. These guys have an unbelievable tolerance for pain, their recovery is quick. He’s no different,’’ Caldwell said.

— Caldwell seems uncertain if  tight end  Eric Ebron will be ready to play on Sunday. Ebron tweaked a hamstring in Wednesday’s practice and didn't practice Thursday or Friday. “It’s a matter of how quickly he’s going to be able to rebound,’’ Caldwell said on Friday morning.

— If Ebron can’t go there’s a chance that Jordan Thompson could be signed from the practice squad. “In a role he could play, he’d end up serving in the capacity where typically Joe (Fauria) and Ebron both would have played and if that happens I think he’ll be ready for it.’’

— Fauria (ankle) has been out on the field watching practice this week, a sign of improvement.

— Captains for Sunday: Reggie Bush on offense; James Ihedigbo on defense and Isa Abdul-Quddus on special teams.

— Also missing from Friday's practice: Theo Riddick (hamstring) and Travis Lewis (quad).

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

10/16/2014

Detroit Lions — Eric Ebron does not practice, leaving one healthy tight end


ALLEN PARK — It could be interesting at tight end for the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Rookie Eric Ebron did not practice on Thursday due to a hamstring injury.

With Joe Fauria out with an ankle injury, that left Brandon Pettigrew as the only healthy tight end. Tight end Jordan Thompson is on the practice squad and could be moved up.

Calvin Johnson (ankle) also did not practice which was not a surprise.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (toe) who was out on Wednesday, returned to practice today along with wide receiver Jeremy Ross (ankle) who also didn’t practice on Wednesday.

Running back Theo Riddick (hamstring) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quad) was also out.

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

10/15/2014

Detroit Lions — Reggie Bush back at work, still no Calvin Johnson


ALLEN PARK — Reggie Bush returned to Detroit Lions practice today (Wednesday) after sitting out Sunday’s game win an ankle injury. Bush participated in the individual drills that were open to the media.

However, Calvin Johnson remained out which was not a surprise. Johnson said earlier in the day he still had some pain and was unsure if he would be ready to play this Sunday against the Saints.


Ziggy Ansah, who was named NFC defensive player of the week, was out with what is believed to be a toe injury.

Wide receiver Jeremy Ross was out along with Theo Riddick (hamstring) and Travis Lewis (quad).

Joe Fauria, who injured his ankle in a freak puppy-related incident and has missed the last three games, did not practice but was out on the field in his sweats. That could be an indication that he is getting closer to a return.

Also, rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy was participating in his first practice in the regular season. He was on short-term injured reserve and Wednesday was the first day he was allowed to practice. He was out after sports hernia surgery. If he stays healthy the first game he can play is after the bye when the Lions play the Dolphins at Ford Field on Nov. 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 Calvin Johnson wants a shot at defensive end


ALLEN PARK — Calvin Johnson enjoys watching the Lions' top-ranked defense so much he wants to get in on the fun.

“Awesome, I want to get out there and play some D and see if I can get a sack,’’ Johnson said. “I told Ziggy (Ansah) when his toe was hurting last week, ‘You get out here, I’ll take a couple reps for you.’’’

VIDEO OF CALVIN JOHNSON

In the past, Johnson has lined up occasionally at safety during Hail Mary plays, but he has not so far this season.

Coach Jim Caldwell said there are a number of defensive positions that Johnson could play.

"You're talking about Superman,'' Caldwell said.

Before he can play defense or offense, he has to get his right ankle healthy.

Johnson sat out the win over the Vikings on Sunday and was limited the previous two games with an ankle sprain.

“Like I said last week, just working as hard as I can to get this thing right. When it’s right we’ll get out there,’’ Johnson said on Wednesday.


Johnson said he’s doing ankle strengthening and balance exercises. He said there is still some lingering pain.

(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 Ziggy Ansah named NFC defensive player of the week


ALLEN PARK — Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah has been named the NFC defensive player of the week.

Ansah 2.5 sacks,  a forced fumble and five tackles including three for a loss in the 17-3 win over the Vikings on Sunday even though he was just on the field for 49 percent of the defensive snaps.

The defense combined for eight sacks of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. 

The Lions maintain the NFL’s top rated defense allowing 270.2 yards and 13.7 points per game. The Lions lead the NFL with 20 sacks — 15 from the defensive line.

Ansah is the second Detroit defensive player to be honored in the first six games. Linebacker DeAndre Levy received the same honor in Week One.

(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 live chat on Detroit Lions at 3 p.m. Thursday

Join us for a live chat at 3 p.m. Thursday to discuss the Detroit Lions (4-2) as they prepare to play the New Orleans Saints (2-3) on Sunday at Ford Field. Joe Lombardi, the Lions offensive coordinator, spent the last seven seasons with the Saints which adds a twist to this game. Bring your questions or just read along.