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.

9/30/2013

Detroit Lions' Jim Schwartz says Bears' allegations 'ridiculous'


Some Chicago Bears players told a Chicago ESPN reporter on Sunday that they thought former Bears defensive end Israel Idonije, who now plays for the Lions, had tipped the Lions off to their stunts because every time they ran a power stunt, Reggie Bush saw it and made the most of it.

“I really think that’s ridiculous, I think it takes away from the players on the field.’’ Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “We rushed for a lot of yards because we blocked them and Reggie Bush broke tackles. To say Reggie Bush is 8 yards behind the quarterback and he can hear what a line call is I think that’s ridiculous.’’

Bush ran for 139 yards including a 37-yard touchdown scamper.

“I’d also like to point out they signed Landon Cohen last week,’’ Schwartz said. “Landon had been here a long time and we haven’t changed our scheme since Landon was here I didn’t see that being a big difference in the game. Stuff like that comes up, it’s just the nature of 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.)

9/29/2013

Five reasons it's not a surprise that the Lions beat the Bears


It’s not a surprise that the Lions beat the Chicago Bears 40-32 at Ford Field on Sunday. The two teams are now each 3-1 and tied for the lead in the NFC North. Here are five reasons it’s not a surprise:

1. The Bears were undefeated entering the game, but they had only beaten one team (Cincinnati) that had won a game in the first three weeks. They had only beaten the Vikings by one point and that was at Soldier Field. They may have been 3-0 but they weren’t all of that.

2. The Lions have enough talent on offense that they can make up for the loss of Nate Burleson at least temporarily. So many fans just looked at the depth chart at wide receiver and cried for a trade. That is no way to do it. Matthew Stafford threw to two wide receivers (Calvin Johnson, Kris Durham), two tight ends (Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler) and two running backs (Reggie Bush, Joique Bell). It was fill in the Burleson gap by committee. And it worked just like I suspected it would.

3. This new-look offensive line does not get enough credit. They are opening up holes for Bush and Bell. They are also protecting Matthew Stafford who has been sacked just three times in four games — just once by the Bears. 

4. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are leading the way on the defensive line but it’s not like Ziggy Ansah and Willie Young are just passengers along for the ride. All four have played extremely solid football for four games.

5. The secondary has been good enough. Both starting cornerbacks (Chris Houston and Rashean Mathis) were out in the fourth quarter and it showed. The Bears were clawing to get back in the game. Give then this, they’re doing OK so far. Bill Bentley had a rough game in Arizona and has improved. Darius Slay lost the starting job, but had a good pass defense on Sunday along with seven tackles. Louis Delmas had his best game of the season. He had two interceptions and Glover Quin another. Jay Cutler had only been intercepted three times in his first three games. 

There you go. 

My prediction was Lions win 24-17. I was off on the score, but not the result.

 (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: Pat Edwards, Jason Fox among inactives; complete list both teams


DETROIT — No real surprises among the Detroit Lions’ inactives for today’s game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field.

Wide receiver Pat Edwards, who has a high ankle sprain, is inactive after being listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report. He was limited in practice all week.

Jason Fox, who injured his groin in the opener, remains out. Corey Hilliard will start his third straight game.

Running back Mikel Leshoure, who was active last week but didn’t play, is inactive as a coach’s decision.

Nate Burleson, who broke his arm in a one-car accident early Tuesday morning, is out for the next several games.

Cornerback Rashean Mathis will start in place of Darius Slay for the second straight game.

Also inactive was quarterback Kellen Moore, Leroy Harris and D’Anthony Smith.
Bears’ cornerback Charles Tillman, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with groin and knee injuries, is active.

Inactives for the Bears: WR Marquess Wilson, WR Joe Anderson, CB Sherrick McManus, T/G James Brown, T Jonathan Scott, DE David Bass and DT Zach Minter.

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

9/28/2013

Detroit Lions: Five keys against Bears, prediction


With a win on Sunday against the Chicago Bears (3-0) the Detroit Lions (2-1) can tie for first place in the NFC North. Here are five keys to the game:

1. Defense must pressure quarterback Jay Cutler all day long. Not only does he have a new-look offensive line protecting him, but this season he’s been getting the ball out quicker. In Cutler’s career he has a dozen touchdowns and just one interception in nine games against the Lions.

2. Chris Houston must keep the ball out of Brandon Marshall’s hands. Marshall has 20 catches, 269 yards and two touchdowns in the first three games.

3. Without Nate Burleson (broken arm), everyone on offense must step up. He won’t be replaced solely by one guy, look for a committee to help fill his role. It’s expected we’ll see more of Ryan Broyles and Reggie Bush in the slot with Kris Durham on the outside. Patrick Edwards is doubtful with an ankle injury. The Bears have given up nearly 300 passing yards per game.

4. The Lions should target cornerback Charles Tillman who missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, then was limited on Friday with knee and groin injuries. Doesn’t sound like he will be 100 percent.

5. Stop the run which means stop Matt Forte and don’t give Devin Hester a chance on returns.

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 17

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

9/27/2013

Detroit Lions: Five ways to look at absence of Nate Burleson


OK, about the Lions’ wide receiver position without Nate Burleson for the next several weeks. Five thoughts:

1. Martin Mayhew will not make any knee-jerk reactions. Last year when they were desperate for wide receivers due to a rash of injuries, he made a trade for Mike Thomas. He got cut after training camp, it wasn’t a close call. It was one of Mayhew’s worst deals.

2. I absolutely cannot see him trading for Cleveland’s Josh Gordon who just returned from a suspension. Gordon is one failed drug test away from a one-year NFL suspension. What if that happened while he was in Detroit? Mayhew would be roasted especially because of recent off-the-field issues.

3. A Mikel Leshoure for Giants’ WR Hakeem Nicks trade just doesn’t make sense for either team. It’s not going to happen.

4. All the angst from fans on replacing Burleson is confounding. Especially from the same fans who thought Burleson was washed up and wouldn’t be the same player coming back from a broken leg. Now they want the best to replace him.

5. He’ll be replaced by committee. Ryan Broyles and Reggie Bush will line up more often in the slot. Kris Durham will line up on the outside opposite Calvin Johnson. Also look for tight ends Tony Scheffler and Joe Fauria to get more involved in the passing game and don’t give up on Brandon Pettigrew just because he didn’t have a catch last Sunday. Replacing Burleson will be by committee and they have enough talent to make it work. Pat Edwards would be an asset, but he’s doubtful to play with a bad ankle.

If it doesn’t work this Sunday against the Bears, perhaps Mayhew will be working the phones on Monday. I suspect they will be fine.

(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 a mostly healthy bunch heading into Sunday vs. Bears


ALLEN PARK — Several Lions have bumps and bruises, but they were all on the practice field today (Friday).

Safety Louis Delmas (knee) was the only exception and he usually doesn’t practice on Friday. He uses it as a rest day.

It’s possible several of the players practiced on a limited basis.

Of course Nate Burleson, who had surgery on his broken arm on Wednesday, was absent.

It’s expected Burleson will be replaced by committee on Sunday. Expect Reggie Bush and Ryan Broyles to line up more often in the slot. 

The Lions (2-1) play the Chicago Bears (3-0) on Sunday at Ford Field. Kickoff is 1 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.)


9/26/2013

Detroit Lions all at practice except Nate Burleson


ALLEN PARK — All Lions on the roster — with the exception of Nate Burleson — were present and accounted for at practice today (Thursday).

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), safety Louis Delmas (knee) and left guard Rob Sims (shoulder) who  sat out on Wednesday were back for the early portion of practice open to the media.

It’s possible that they were participating on a limited basis.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (abdomen), safety Don Carey (hamstring), wide receiver Patrick Edwards (ankle), tackle Jason Fox (groin), linebacker DeAndre Levy (abdomen) and linebacker Ashlee Palmer (ankle) were on the field today. All were limited in practice on Wednesday.

Running back Reggie Bush (knee) was back at work after a full practice on Wednesday. He is expected to play on Sunday after missing last Sunday’s win at Washington.

The Lions (2-1) are preparing to play the Chicago Bears (3-0) Sunday 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.)

9/25/2013

Transcript of live chat on Detroit Lions

Here's a transcript of Thursday's live chat on the Lions. A few technical problems at first, but we got everything cleared up and had a good discussion. Join me every Thursday at 3 p.m. for a Lions' chat.



Detroit Lions: Reggie Bush, Pat Edwards, Jason Fox back at practice


ALLEN PARK — Reggie Bush appeared to be practicing at full-speed today (Wednesday) in the portion of Lions’ practice open to the media. Bush sat out Sunday’s game with a knee injury.

Also wide receiver Pat Edwards (ankle), who also missed Sunday’s game, was participating in practice.

Wide receiver Ryan Broyles, who played his first game Sunday coming off ACL surgery, also worked at practice.

Broyles and Edwards are key with Nate Burleson out at least indefinitely with a broken arm.

Calvin Johnson was on the field, but not participating. His injury is unknown but Jim Schwartz said on Monday there were no long-term injuries as a result of Sunday’s game.

Jason Fox (groin) returned to practice for the first time in two week after he was injured in the opening game. 

Ziggy Ansah who had to leave Sunday’s game briefly with an undetermined injury was also practicing.

Louis Delmas (knee) was not on the field. He also missed practice last Wednesday and Friday, then played in 100 percent of the defensive snaps on Sunday.

Rob Sims was on the field, but not participating.

Of course, Burleson was absent. He is undergoing surgery today on his broken arm.
In early morning news today, cornerback Chris Greenwood was signed off the Lions’ practice squad by the Dallas Cowboys.

Also, rookie punter Sam Martin was named the NFC special teams player of the week. He averaged 52 yards per punt in the win at Washington.

(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: Rookie punter Sam Martin NFC special teams player of week


ALLEN PARK — Rookie Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin has been named the NFC special teams player of the week.

In the Lions’ 27-20 win at the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Martin averaged 52 yards per punt that included a 72-yard effort.

The last time a Lions’ punter won player of the week honors was in 1993 when Jim Arnold was mentioned.

Martin ranks sixth among NFL punters with a 48.5 yard per punt average.

A fifth-round pick out of Appalachian State, he won the job over Blake Clingan in training camp.

The Lions host the Chicago Bears on Sunday 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' CB Chris Greenwood signed by Cowboys off practice squad


ALLEN PARK — Chris Greenwood is gone before Lions fans ever got a chance to see what the cornerback could do.

Greenwood was signed off the Lions practice squad by the Cowboys, per a report from DallasCowboys.com.

Practice squad players first pass waivers, then are available to any other team. This is how the Lions got running back Joique Bell — they signed him off the Saints’ practice squad.

Greenwood, who attended Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School, was a fifth-round draft pick in 2012 out of Albion.

He was injured in rookie camp after the draft and was out for his rookie season. Greenwood, a 6-foot-2 corner, participated in training camp this summer but couldn’t crack the 53-man roster.

He made his Lions’ debut in the preseason game on Aug. 22.

Greenwood flew to Dallas Tuesday night and passed his physical, per Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.

Greenwood is the second pick from the Lions’ 2012 draft who is no longer with the team. The Lions cut Ronnell Lewis (fourth round) at the end of training camp.

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


9/24/2013

Detroit Lions: Five expected to step up in Nate Burleson's absence


Nate Burleson will be missed, no question.

The versatile veteran wide receiver lines up in the slot and on the outside. He leads the Lions with 19 receptions through three games.

He had his best game since 2007 on Sunday with six catches and 116 yards.

After his surgery on his broken arm on Wednesday, the Lions will have a better idea of how long he will be out. Coach Jim Schwartz certainly didn’t make it sound like he is done for the season.

Look for these guys to be more involved:

1. Naturally, Ryan Broyles will see more time in the slot after playing Sunday for the first time since he tore his ACL in November. He was targeted three times on Sunday and caught all three. He plays in the slot, not on the outside.

2. If Pat Edwards is healthy — he was out last week with an injured ankle — he can make up some of Burleson’s time on the outside. Edwards is speedy.

3. Tight end Joe Fauria, who is 6-foot-7, had just one catch on Sunday, but it was for a touchdown. Fauria was a receiver at UCLA, he has good hands and is working on his blocking skills. He could easily get more involved in the offense. He has four catches in three games — two of them for touchdowns.

4. Kris Durham and Matthew Stafford played together at Georgia. Durham, who is 6-foot-6, provides another tall target. He had just one catch on Sunday, but it was for 33 yards.

5. Tight end Tony Scheffler could easily be more involved in the offense. He had his first two receptions of the season at Washington. He was targeted twice and caught both.

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

9/23/2013

Detroit Lions: Riley Reiff, Corey Hilliard unsung heroes in Sunday's win


ALLEN PARK — Pity the offensive line — any NFL offensive line.

You don’t hear much about them unless they screw up.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz tried to change that on Monday when he pointed out two of the unsung Lions’ heroes in the 27-20 win over the Redskins on Sunday.

Left tackle Riley Reiff and right tackle Corey Hilliard got the nod from the coach.

“We took one sack in the game and that was on the first play and that was an inside blitz from the mike (middle) linebacker,’’ Schwartz said on Monday. “I thought that Riley played an outstanding game and so did Corey. And they had to do it against two big-time players. Players that had given every team they’ve played trouble.’’

That would be linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo. Entering Sunday’s game the Redskins’ defense had seven sacks in the first two games. Kerrigan had three of them and Orakpo one.

Reiff and Hilliard held them off which gave Matthew Stafford time.

“That had a lot to do with our ability to find Nate Burleson down the field, to find Calvin Johnson, to find Kris Durham,’’ Schwartz said. “A lot of those big plays were made because we were able to have just enough time to find those guys.”

(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: Andre Fluellen signed again; Jason Jones out for season


ALLEN PARK — With defensive end Jason Jones placed on injured reserve after tearing his patella tendon on Sunday, the Lions have signed Andre Fluellen again.
Fluellen, who can play defensive end or tackle, was one of the final cuts after training camp.

Jones was injured in the second quarter of Sunday’s win at Washington and is out for the seasons.

Willie Young could start in Jones’ spot at left defensive end. The defensive line uses a heavy rotation throughout each game so others will need to step up.

“We are going to lean on Devin Taylor there,’’ coach Jim Schwartz said Monday. 
“Devin has a lot of the same things that we liked about Jason. He played well at times in the preseason, but he needs to grow up quickly. That’s no different than anyone else, being a young player in the league, you have to perform.''

Young played in 74 percent of the defensive snaps on Sunday, finishing with five tackles.

“II thought he did a good job on the run front,’’ Schwartz said of Young. “He rushed very well in the game against a really good left tackle in Trent Williams. Most of his rush came over on Trent Williams side. He made his impact felt, he is on the right path.”

Young, a seventh-round pick in 2010, has always been a good practice player. Now he’s finding a way to carry it over to game day.

Ziggy Ansah started at right defensive end on Sunday and had a pair of sacks. Israel Idonije also plays defensive end.

(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 in win over Redskins


Five things we learned about the Lions in the 27-20 win at Washington on Sunday:

1. Rashean Mathis should be the starting cornerback not the reliever. He started instead of coming in from the bullpen for rookie Darius Slay like he did the first two games. Mathis, a veteran, was a big improvement. It’s tough to be a rookie cornerback in the NFL. This doesn’t mean the Lions have given up on Slay, but he’s not quite ready yet. On Sunday he didn’t play one snap at corner, he did see action (17 plays) on special teams.

2. We’ve known all along that Matthew Stafford is tough and he proved it again with a quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-1 at Washington’s 12-yard line in the fourth quarter. Two plays later Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson for a touchdown that gave the Lions a 10-point lead with 3:56 left in the game.

3. Matthew Stafford’s 385 passing yards gave him a total in three games of 1,040 which puts him on pace for 5,536 yards in 16 games. That would break the record currently held by Drew Brees who had 5,476 passing yards in  2011. Stafford is sixth and seventh with all time passing yards in a season — 5,038 in 2011 and 4,967 in 2012.

4. The Lions are just fine at wide receiver. So many fans were panicked in the offseason. Nate Burleson looks better than ever.  He had six catches for 116 yards Sunday. That gives him 19 receptions in the first three games which is tops on the team. Ryan Broyles made his season debut with three catches (on three targets) for 34 yards. Kris Durham only had one catch but it was for 33 yards. Oh, and Calvin Johnson who had seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

5. Louis Delmas’ left knee does not appear to be slowing him down. He was on the field for every defensive play and finished second on the team with eight tackles — he had a combination of six in the first two games. Delmas only practiced one day last week but that’s enough for the safety. He just needs to be ready to go on Sundays.

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


9/22/2013

Detroit Lions: Five reasons Calvin Johnson was huge in win over Redskins


Five reasons why Calvin Johnson makes Sundays brighter in Detroit and around the NFL.

The wide receiver known as Megatron had seven catches for 115 yards in the Lions’ 27-20 win over the Redskins on Sunday.

 Could list 25, but will stick with just five:

1. His touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter was an absolute thing of beauty. He was not double-covered, not triple-covered — no he had four Redskins covering him and still he came down with the ball from 11 yards out. That’s why Calvin is Calvin.

2. On third-and-8 in the Lions first series, Johnson caught a pass for a 23-yard gain. Hello, Washington.

3. By surpassing 100 receiving yards on Sunday he tied the franchise record with 34 career 100-yard receiving games. He’s not tied with Herman Moore.

4. Calvin is multidimensional — he was in at deep safety with Louis Delmas and Glover Quin when the Redskins tried a Hail Mary on the final play of the game.

5. His “Calvin Johnson rule” actually benefited the Lions Sunday when a 58-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson was reversed upon review because the ball moved on the ground underneath him meaning he didn’t “complete the process.” That cost the Lions in Week One at Ford Field. Johnson wasn’t even in the game and he made a difference on that 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.)

9/21/2013

Detroit Lions: Five keys to win over Redskins, prediction


1. The Lions must exploit the Redskins’ suspect defense preferably by throwing deep. The defense is rated 32nd in the NFL, allowing an average of 511.5 yards and 35.5 points  per game. The rushing defense is 32nd and passing defense is 23rd. All the talk about Robert Griffin III’s knee is fine, but perhaps the blame for the Redskins’ 0-2 start should be on the other side of the ball.

2. If Reggie Bush is in or out, the run game must be up to speed. He was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. If he’s still out with the knee he injured at Arizona, Joique Bell, Theo Riddick and Mikel Leshoure have to step up. Things fell apart in the second half at Arizona without Bush last week. That can’t happen again.

3. The Lions’ defensive line (with or without Nick Fairley) must pressure Griffin consistently. The quarterback is young and vulnerable, his knee may not be 100 percent even though he won’t use it as an excuse for the 0-2 start. Fairley, who sat out last Sunday at Arizona, is listed as questionable.

4. Matthew Stafford needs to spread the ball around more. Perhaps get Tony Scheffler and Joe Fauria more involved in the offense. Of course it would help if they would get to the red zone where those two tight ends are depended on more.

5. Coaches and players keep saying the fact that the Lions have never, ever won in Washington doesn’t matter to them, they just want a win. Prove it.

Prediction: Lions 38, Redskins 21

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

9/20/2013

Detroit Lions: Reggie Bush returns to practice


ALLEN PARK — Reggie Bush returned to practice today (Friday) for the first time this week. He injured his knee in the second quarter in Sunday’s loss at Arizona.

Bush said on Thursday he had been really pleased with his progress and was optimistic he will play on Sunday at the Washington Redskins.

From the early portion of practice open to the media, Bush looked like he had full participation which included running routes.

Also returning to practice were linebacker Ashlee Palmer (ankle) who missed on Thursday and safety Don Carey (hamstring) who hasn’t practiced since his injury in the season opener.

Right tackle Jason Fox (groin) remains out. He hasn’t practiced since his injury against the Vikings. Corey Hilliard is expected to get the start again on Sunday.

Also wide receiver Pat Edwards (ankle) did not practice. He was injured early in Sunday’s game and hasn’t practiced all week.

Louis Delmas and Jason Jones, who both have knee issues, were out presumably as a rest day.

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


9/19/2013

Detroit Lions: Reggie Bush optimistic he'll play Sunday


ALLEN PARK — Reggie Bush, who injured his knee in the second quarter on Sunday, said today (Thursday) that he is optimistic that he’ll be ready to play on Sunday in Washington.

“It’s a long ways until Sunday, I’m optimistic about playing, I always am,’’ Bush said. “Today was a good day. The progress since last Sunday has been really good. It’s a lot further than I expected. 

“It feels a lot better than I thought it was going to feel so I’m happy where it is right now,’’ Bush said. “Today was a very positive day so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.’’

Bush hasn’t practiced this week, instead he’s been getting therapy.

The Lions running back said nothing was torn in his knee which was a good sign. He was not specific with the diagnosis.

Detroit Lions: Reggie Bush still out; Louis Delmas returns to practice


ALLEN PARK — Louis Delmas returned to practice today (Thursday) after sitting out on Wednesday due to his ongoing left knee problem. It’s common for him to miss practice to rest his knee. The safety played every defensive snap in the opening game and 97 percent in the loss at Arizona.

Four others who didn’t work on Wednesday remained out — Reggie Bush (knee), Jason Fox (groin), Patrick Edwards (ankle) and Don Carey (hamstring).

Also linebacker Ashlee Palmer, who practiced Wednesday, was out. He was on the injury report last week with ankle injury.

If Bush can’t play on Sunday at Washington, rookie Theo Riddick and Mikel Leshoure will be expected to step up. Bush injured his knee in the second quarter on Sunday.

Fox missed Sunday’s game at Arizona with Corey Hilliard getting the start. 

Nick Fairley (shoulder) and Rob Sims (knee) were limited in Wednesday's practice. Both were on the field Thursday for the early portion that is open to the media.

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

9/18/2013

Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh dismisses O-linemen as gnats


ALLEN PARK — Is it wise for Ndamukong Suh to refer to NFL offensive linemen as gnats? We will find out.

The Detroit Lions defensive tackle was asked about the play at Arizona in which a Cardinals’ offensive lineman tried to cut him in an open-field situation.

It seemed like a legitimate question since Suh was fined $100,000 for a low block on Vikings center John Sullivan in Week One.

“It happens all the time. It’s not going to stop,’’ Suh said. “I look forward to it, look forward to keep making plays down the field. That’s my job.

“To me, it’s just gnats that are in the air that keep going after you, and you swat at them and sometimes you hit them, sometimes you don’t, sometimes they just run away, sometimes they come back again. Ultimately, I’m that bee going to find that honey hole. That’s what I go and do.”

Suh didn’t seem upset that a penalty wasn’t called. He said to him it wasn’t an issue and it’s part of the game.

Coach Jim Schwartz said it was a legal play.

“For an offensive lineman to do it it’s legal,’’ Schwartz said. “As long as he isn’t doing it from behind. If he’s from the front then it’s legal. Is it less of an injury risk? 
No. It’s a legal play as opposed to a play that’s penalized. It just is what it is.”

The Lions play at the Washington Redskins on Sunday at 1 p.m.

(Join Paula Pasche at 3 p.m. Thursday for a live chat on the Lions. Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter and Tout.com. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions prepare for Redskins, Robert Griffin III and his knee


ALLEN PARK — It’s not the knee.

Even though the Washington Redskins are off to a 0-2 start and Robert Griffin III doesn’t appear to be the same quarterback as he was last year before he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, Griffin and coach Mike Shanahan say it’s not the knee.

Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon said in a radio interview that Griffin is not as fast as last season.

“There is no knee issue,’’ Griffin said in a Wednesday conference call. “You know, I love my receivers. If he wants to race me we can race.”

The Detroit Lions (1-1) visit Washington, D.C., on Sunday where they have never won a game.

They are preparing for the mobile, speedy Griffin they saw in film from last season.

“They’re still running the same schemes,’’ Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “You better be ready for it. We’ll be prepared for him carrying the ball and him handing it off or throwing it. That’s not different than any other week. We’re certainly going to prepare as if he’s going to carry the ball. 

“We know he’s a talented guy. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities in the first couple of games, but I think some of that may also be to the fact that they were down so much in those games,’’ Schwartz added.

Griffin who had 120 carries for 815 yards last season has just nine carries in the first two games and six of those were on scrambles.

It’s not the knee.

Like Schwartz said, it’s been the game situations. The Redskins were down 24-0 at the half in Green Bay on Sunday, eventually losing 38-20. In Week One they fell behind 26-7 at the half at home against the Eagles and lost 33-27.

“Take a look at the first half at how many plays have been run, and the first game was a lack of turnovers. We had turnovers in the first half. And the second game, I think we were 0-7 on third downs, 0-6 I think in the first half,’’ Shanahan said. “So it’s hard to get many plays going when you don’t convert and you turn the football over. We did some good things in the second half, but it was more of a two-minute attack.”

Griffin is wearing a knee brace, but doesn’t use that for an excuse. In fact, he offers no excuses just a resolve to improve.

“No, it’s just that you have to deal with the situation as it is,’’ Griffin said about the brace. “As a team, right now we haven’t been playing very well. There are no words that we can say that will make us play better. It’s time to just go out there and play and make it happen. We just can’t keep talking about it and I think everyone understands that.”

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh certainly respects Griffin and will be ready.

“He’s athletic. This is my, including college, third or fourth time playing against him,’’ Suh said. “Every time he has done something spectacular with his feet, let alone something with his arm. You have to respect him no matter what.’’

Griffin said the Redskins’ goal now is to win two straight so they’ll be 2-2 at their bye week.

It’s not the end of the world for the young quarterback. He seemed more cranked up, ready to prove the naysayers wrong.

Last season the Redskins started 1-2, went to 3-6 and then won seven straight to finish 10-6 and make the playoffs where they lost to Seattle 24-14 in a wild card game.

It’s not the knee and Griffin insists he’s not a different player.

“We are not winning games. That’s the most important thing,’’ Griffin said. “Whatever I have to do to help this team win games, that’s what I am willing to do. That’s all you can say. It’s been two games, there’s no conclusion that you can draw up for us from these two games. At least not any good ones that we want to continue trending.”

(Join Paula Pasche for a live chat about the Lions at 3 p.m. Thursday.)

(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 weekly live chat on Lions

On Thursday's weekly live chat we discussed the Detroit Lions (1-1) as they prepare to play the Redskins (0-2) at Washington, a place where the Lions have never won. Had tons of good questions on personnel and scheme. Seems there are a few worried Lions' fans out there. Join me for the next chat at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26.



Detroit Lions: No Reggie Bush, Louis Delmas at practice; Nick Fairley returns


ALLEN PARK — Three starters were among the five injured players who sat out practice today (Wednesday).

Reggie Bush, who hurt his knee in the second quarter Sunday, was not on the field. Coach Jim Schwartz said on Monday that it is not a long-term injury.

Also no sign of safety Louis Delmas, who has a lingering knee issue. Delmas was able to practice last week on Wednesday and Thursday.

Right tackle Jason Fox, who missed Sunday’s game with a groin injury, did not work.

Nick Fairley, who missed Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury, was back on the field in a limited capacity.

Also there was no sign of wide receiver Patrick Edwards, who hurt his ankle Sunday.
Safety Don Carey, who missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, also didn’t practice.

Ryan Broyles was out on the field early running along the sidelines prior to practice. 
If Edwards can’t go there’s a chance Broyles, who is coming off ACL surgery, will be activated for the first time this season.

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