The Lions lost the QB of their secondary, leaving one of the team’s weakest units from last season short-handed.
Safety Louis Delmas had surgery on his left knee and will definitely be evaluated weekly, Coach Jim Schwartz related.
”As soon as he can get out and go and keep it from getting sore, then he’ll be back,” Schwartz said Wednesday. ”The reason he stopped up getting it done was to get him back on the field. First it was sore, then he tried to go again, and we just weren’t getting anywhere with it.”
Delmas started the first 11 games of last season but missed the last 5 after hurting his knee in a Thanksgiving loss to Green Bay Packers. The 4-year veteran started 30 of his first 32 games after Detroit selected him in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft. He had not practiced in a week. Football odds
Without Delmas, the Lions allowed opponents to throw for 300 or more yards in 3 of their final 5 regular-season games, including Matt Flynn’s 480-yard, 6-touchdown performance in the last weekend. It was nearly as bad in the opening round of the playoffs, when New Orleans’ Drew Brees passed for 459 yards and 3 scores.
Amari Spievey, the other returning starting safety, declared losing Delmas late last year hurt.
”He has a big impact on our defense. It was kind of hard to get used to it without him in there,” he said.
Spievey and 9-year veteran Erik Coleman, who played just 4 games last season, are the likely starters when the Lions face Cleveland in Friday’s preseason opener.
”We’ve both got to be leaders out there now,” Spievey said. ”It hurts me a little bit because I love playing with (Delmas). His passion for the game is unmatchable. I’m going to miss him and with a little bit of luck he’ll return soon.”
Schwartz wouldn’t explain the surgical procedure, which was performed by Doctor James Andrews. He did the same when asked how long Delmas would be off the field.
”We really don’t have any agenda,” Schwartz announced. ”He’s not day-to-day, he’s more week-to-week.”
Fans will see other new faces in the secondary Friday. Rookie Dwight Bentley, a 3rd-round selection from Louisiana-Lafayette, worked opposite fellow cornerback Chris Houston with the 1st team the majority of the day Wednesday. Alphonso Smith, a projected starter, played most of his reps with the 2nd unit.
Notes: RB Mikel Leshoure said he’s making progress from a hamstring injury but still doesn’t know when he’ll be ready to fully take part in practice. Kevin Smith and Keiland Williams got almost all of the snaps with the 1st and 2nd teams Wednesday. Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo and Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee watched practice from the sideline.