DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch shared the field for five consecutive years in Detroit. The two bonded together and were a part of one of the Detroit Lions’ best defensive teams in franchise history.
Though that professional bond was cut short this offseason when the Lions released Tulloch, their personal bond remains. Tulloch joined the Detroit media on a conference call on Wednesday and shared his thoughts on his time with Levy and discussed his current injury.
“I love Levy, he’s one of my favorite guys on the team,” Tulloch said.
Tulloch admitted that the two keep into contact and have talked about injuries before, something both players are more than familiar with. “It’s unfortunate because I know how much work Levy puts into his craft,” Tulloch said of Levy’s injury.
Despite all of Levy’s hard work, he has only managed to play in six quarters since that special 2014 season. First, a hip injury sidelined him for all but one half of play in 2015. Now, a knee/quad injury has held him out since after Week 1.
Some have criticized Levy for his perceived lack of passion for the game and believe he is not doing all he can to continue his NFL career. A lot of this stems from Levy’s constant criticism over the way the NFL treats injuries, like their over-reliance on pain medication and their handling of concussions. Some take this criticism as a sign that Levy no longer loves the game and is unwilling to ever play again, even though Levy himself has addressed and denied those claims directly.
Tulloch believes that Levy is working hard to get on the field. “If I know Levy, I know he’s doing everything in his power to get back healthy,” Tulloch said. “I’ve talked to him about it, he’s a little frustrated by it. Obviously, he wants to go out there and play.”
Tulloch knows the work necessary to recover from a serious injury. In that same 2014 season, Tulloch blew his ACL on a celebration in Week 3. The next year, Tulloch worked his way back into a starting role on the Lions defense and led the team with 107 total tackles.
Whatever is happening behind the scenes with Levy, he still appears to be a ways away from returning to the field. In Wednesday’s injury report, not only did Levy miss practice again, but a knee injury was added to his report.