August 25, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
The key thing for NFL teams in the preseason is to make it through games without players getting hurt. Through the first half of the preseason, the Detroit Lions were in pretty good shape from a health standpoint. On Saturday night, however, the Lions didn't have much luck. Several players got hurt, and most of the injuries affected starters. Here's a rundown of who got hurt and what their status is going forward.
- Quarterback Matthew Stafford gave everybody a scare when he left after the Lions' second offensive drive with a left hand injury. He banged his hand on a helmet, and he had it wrapped in ice on the sideline before getting it taped up. X-rays on his left hand were negative, and Stafford said after the game that he would have continued playing if it were a regular season game. It doesn't appear that this is anything serious, and considering he wasn't expected to play much next Thursday anyway, he should be fine for the regular season.
- Running back Kevin Smith suffered an ankle injury early in the second half. He limped off the field much like he did last season when he suffered a high ankle sprain. Considering how thin the Lions are at running back, they really can't afford for him to be hurt, and it luckily doesn't sound like his injury is too serious. Smith said he doesn't have a high ankle sprain, and he also said that X-rays on his ankle were negative. Like Stafford, it looks as though Smith will be fine for the regular season.
- Running back Mikel Leshoure did not suffer an injury on Saturday night. There was speculation that he got hurt because he left the game so suddenly, but that was simply because the Lions' had a specific plan for how many reps he was going to get.
- Wide receiver Maurice Stovall had his right arm wrapped, according to Anwar Richardson.
- Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was shown on the sideline with a large ice wrap on his left knee during the second half of Saturday's game, and he appeared to be walking a bit gingerly. It didn't look like anything serious, though.
- Cornerback Bill Bentley hurt his shoulder on the opening drive of the game and did not return. It's not known right now how severe his injury is.
- It's also not clear how severe the ankle injury is that cornerback Chris Houston suffered during Saturday's game. According to Tom Leyden, Houston said he felt okay and wasn't limping very much after the game, so that's good to hear.
Considering how many starters were banged up, it's a positive sign that none of the injuries appear to be all that serious. I would be surprised if the likes of Stafford, Smith, Bentley and Houston play in next Thursday's preseason finale against the Buffalo Bills, but starters typically play a limited amount of reps in the final preseason game anyway. At this point, the Lions' focus should simply be on getting them healthy for the start of the regular season in two weeks.