DeAndre Levy didn’t waste any time getting on the practice field after being taken off of the Detroit Lions’ Non-Football Injury list. Levy was out there in full pads on Tuesday practicing with the team for the first time since OTAs in early June.
The news wasn’t all positive for Levy, however. The Lions appear to be proceeding with caution, as Levy wasn’t a full participant in Tuesday’s practice:
#Lions LB DeAndre Levy returned to practice on a limited basis, taking part in individual drills. But watching during 7-on-7 and full team.— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) August 16, 2016
“Right now we’re just trying to get him back in the swing of things,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Levy in his post-practice press conference on Tuesday.
So does that mean Levy will be ready for Thursday’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals? If it were up to the linebacker, he’d be playing. “I would like to,” Levy said of playing in the preseason. “I’d like some live reps.”
Caldwell is a little less certain. “We’ll make our decision a little bit later on,” the head coach said, adding that it wasn’t a necessity to get Levy on the field before the start of the regular season.
Given that Levy is such an integral part of a thin roster at linebacker, it’s hard to imagine him getting any significant playing time in the preseason. His health should be more important to the team right now than getting him reps during an exhibition game.
Keeping that health is important for Levy, because as of right now he expects to be ready for the start of the regular season. “I expect to be ready to roll Week 1,” Levy said after practice. If that’s the case, the Lions probably don’t want to risk anything before then.
In other injury news, both Geoff Schwartz and Josh Bynes were back at practice after sitting out on Monday. Both players are extremely valuable depth at positions that have been lacking talent recently at camp.
On the other hand, safety Don Carey and tackle Michael Ola, both injured in Monday’s practice, sat out again on Tuesday. Caldwell did not provide an update on either player’s status on Tuesday.
Finally, tight end Matthew Mulligan took the day off of practice. This is concerning as the Lions are desperately thin at tight end after Eric Ebron, Tim Wright and Brandon Pettigrew all suffered significant injuries. Mulligan’s injury is unknown, but Caldwell did provide a small window of optimism when asked whether Mulligan’s injury would be long-term. “I don’t anticipate one,” Caldwell said. The Lions did have their new tight end, Andrew Quarless, practicing for the second time with the team on Tuesday, so they weren’t completely bereft of bodies at the position.
To summarize quickly:
Sitting out Lions practice: Ebron, Pettigrew, Mulligan, Ola, Bostic, Gooden, Carey— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 16, 2016
With their second preseason game just days away, we’ll see how healthy the team is in front of their home crowd against the Bengals.