Cornerback Darius Slay is still quite unproven, but he's one of the Detroit Lions' most important players going into the 2014 season. After releasing Chris Houston in June, the Lions are banking on Slay being much better in his second season in the NFL, and they are banking on the cornerback position being much improved as a result.
With Slay viewed as such a valuable player at cornerback, he's near the top of the list of players who the Lions can't afford to get injured. That's why there was such concern on Monday morning when this happened:
Darius Slay down on the field being attended to by trainers after falling in one-on-one drill with Tate.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) August 4, 2014
Tate fell right on Slay's shoulder/neck area after catching the pass. Will update after practice.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) August 4, 2014
Slay went inside the Lions' facility to be examined, and he came back out a short time later without his helmet. That was an indication that he was done practicing for the day, but according to Justin Rogers, Slay didn't have any "signs of tape or ice" when he returned. That was a sign that his injury wasn't serious, and Slay basically said as much after practice.
Darius Slay on his injury: "It wasn't nothing. Just playing ball. I'm good." Said he plans to practice tomorrow."— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) August 4, 2014
In case you need additional evidence that Slay is okay, there's this:
I'm standing right next to Slay. He's goofing off with Rahean Mathis. I'd be shocked if his injury were serious.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 4, 2014
This looks like an injury scare more than anything, which is great news for the Lions. With the preseason about to begin, this is an important time for Slay's development, and the last thing they need is for him to miss time with a shoulder or neck injury. Hopefully Slay's initial assessment on Monday will turn out to be accurate and he will in fact be on the practice field on Tuesday.
UPDATE: Here's what Jim Caldwell had to say about Slay after practice:
Caldwell says Slay is fine, will practice tomorrow.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 4, 2014
Caldwell said Slay had a little neck issue. No big deal. He told Slay that Tate can be a pain in neck sometimes.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) August 4, 2014