Although it appeared the Detroit Lions escaped their preseason game with the Pittsburgh Steelers with few injuries, it now looks like the Lions are in a little trouble. Several Lions players are suffering from injuries now, and it happens to be at the positions in which the Lions are most vulnerable.
We begin with linebacker, a position at which the team is still suffering from the absence of DeAndre Levy, who remains on the Non-Football Injury list. Last week was a bad week for the Lions’ linebacker depth. After losing linebacker Jon Bostic to a serious injury during practice with the Steelers, Zaviar Gooden was knocked out of the first preseason game after colliding helmet-to-helmet with his teammate Isaiah Johnson. Both Bostic and Gooden did not participate in Monday’s practice.
But to make matters worse, first-stringer Josh Bynes, who had replaced Bostic as the starting weakside linebacker in Levy’s absence, also did not practice.
No Josh Bynes today. That means Lions are without their top 3 weak-side linebackers, along with Levy and Bostic.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 15, 2016
That left rookie fifth-round pick Antwione Williams to take snaps with the first-team defense... at a position he hadn’t played for the team since being drafted in May.
Rookie Antwione Williams is getting a crash course in weak-side linebacker today. He's repping with the ones for Levy/Bynes/Bostic— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 15, 2016
The Lions are similarly thin at offensive tackle. Though Detroit has numbers at the position, the only real proven backup to Riley Reiff and Taylor Decker was Michael Ola. Unfortunately, Ola appeared to have to suffered a leg injury during Monday’s practice:
Lions backup RT Michael Ola just limped off and needed assistance. Appeared to be his right leg that was injured.— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 15, 2016
Michael Ola leaving the field with a heavy limp.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) August 15, 2016
If Ola’s injury proves to be long-term, the Lions may have to scramble to find another backup. Cornelius Lucas and Corey Robinson would essentially be first and second backups with the current roster, unless the team decided to move a versatile guy like Geoff Schwartz (who also sat out of Monday’s practice) or Joe Dahl to the outside.
Later, Don Carey was seen having his right leg examined on the sideline. Carey was just returning from the NFI list a few weeks ago and was starting to make a case for a spot on the roster in a hotly contested battle at the safety position. This injury, depending on how severe, could have huge implications for his chances to make the team.
Per usual, head coach Jim Caldwell did not provide any additional comments on these injuries, outside of noting that Bostic did have surgery, but not revealing any details about the surgery. Shortly after the press conference, however, ESPN’s Josina Anderson supplied some details about Bostic’s injury and surgery:
Source: #Lions LB Jon Bostic had surgery today on his foot. I'm told it was on his 5th metatarsal.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) August 15, 2016
In better news, Darius Slay returned to practice after sitting out the second joint practice with the Steelers and the preseason game.