Safety Don Carey quickly became a starter for the Detroit Lions after he re-signed with the team last November. Thanks to injuries, he was actually called upon to start six of the Lions' final nine games, and he did quite well in that role and on special teams.
The Lions were so impressed with Carey that they signed him to an extension at the end of last season, and that's looking like a pretty wise move. On paper, Carey is the Lions' top backup at safety, and in reality, he could very well be a starter given Louis Delmas' knee problems. If Carey is called upon to start again, he will be ready. From the Free Press:
"I’m approaching it as if I’m going to be playing because you never know what might happen — and (also) not losing touch to my special teams responsibility," Carey said. "So I just kind of prepare for both."
If Delmas is in the lineup, he will start alongside Glover Quin, giving the Lions an excellent tandem at safety. If Delmas can't go, as has been the case this offseason, Carey will instead start at safety with Quin.
The Lions would certainly prefer that Delmas be healthy and in the lineup on a regular basis, but all things considered, Carey is a pretty good insurance policy.