Williams misses practice, other Thursday notes
Receiver Roy Williams missed Thursday's practice with a bruised knee. The injury doesn't appear too serious as Williams stayed involved in receiver drills, throwing passes to to his fellow wideouts during a four-cone drill and providing half-hearted defense when they were running routes.
Right guard Stephen Peterman and backup tackle George Foster will miss Sunday's game with hand and knee injuries, respectively. Foster hyper-extended his right knee in practice Monday and had to have excess swelling and blood drained. Peterman has a broken hand.
Coordinators Jim Colletto (offense), Joe Barry (defense) and Stan Kwan (special teams) also met with reporters Thursday. Some highlights:
Kwan said it's possible the Bears will use both Devin Hester and Danieal Manning on kickoff returns Sunday. Hester is widely considered the best return man in the league for good reason, but Manning is averaging 27.3 yards per kick return this year (three yards more than Hester). "Danieal Manning's probably the second best kickoff returner in the league," Kwan said. "He's outstanding, so no matter who's returning we got the same gameplan for him."
Are changes in the offense coming? I wouldn't expect anything too dramatic, but Colletto said the Lions need to be more aggressive and suggested four-receiver formations will be "sprinkled in more often now throughout the game."
After watching film during the bye week, Colletto said he's fine with the offensive gameplan the first two weeks but "got a little conservative" against the 49ers. Still, he said any changes he makes aren't in response to grumbling by Roy Williams and Jon Kitna, and don't reflect a change in philosophy. "We got to get on top a little bit quicker, try to do something sooner," he said. "We just want to be a little more aggressive. I think we're going to be."
Slot receiver Shaun McDonald, who has 10 catches through three games coming off a career-high 79-catch season, said he'd welcome any changes that get the receivers more involved. "We haven't scored points like we should be," McDonald said. "I think a little bit more aggressiveness will help that out."
A more aggressive offense should, theoretically, help a defense that ranks last in the league against the run and pass and has forced an NFL-worst one turnover. "You create turnovers by playing fast and playing hard and knocking the crap out of people and causing fumbles, hitting the quarterback and causing an errant pass that's up in the air and you pick it," Barry said. "That's how turnovers come." reckless, playing 100 miles an hour and the turnovers will come," Barry said.
The Lions were granted a 24-hour extension by the NFL to sell the remaining 1,500 or so tickets for Sunday's game. If a sellout isn't reached by 1 p.m. today, the game will be blacked out locally for the first time since the Lions moved to Ford Field six years ago.