In the last 48 hours, Detroit Lions fans were treated to a wave of emotions. When Eric Ebron first went down with an injury at the Lions’ mock game, fans assumed the worst. Ebron couldn’t put any pressure on his injured leg and was in visible pain.
Then the Lions got even worse news, as Ian Rapoport was reporting that it appeared Ebron had suffered an Achilles injury, which he called potentially “devastating.”
The early word on #Lions TE Eric Ebron getting carted off is that he suffered an Achilles injury, I’m told. Could be devastating.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 6, 2016
However, news would quickly turn, as Ebron was spotted via his own Snapchat moving around pretty well and in a joyous mood. Shortly after that, Ebron was spotted standing around on a basketball court on Marvin Jones’ Snapchat.
The good news continued when Rapoport made a revision to his initial report:
#Lions TE Eric Ebron, who suffered an Achilles injury today, has indicated to at least two teammates that he’s OK… So could be minor.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 6, 2016
The next day, as fans patiently waited for more news, Dave Birkett filed a similar update regarding Ebron:
One Lions player believes Eric Ebron came away with just a minor ankle injury yesterday. Still waiting on firm word.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) August 7, 2016
The big distinction that emerged from Birkett's update was that Ebron's ankle was injured, not his Achilles tendon. Still, Lions fans were left without any confirmation throughout all of Sunday.
Monday morning the Lions were back at practice, and Ebron was there, but did not participate:
Eric Ebron missed practice this morning, but did attend it without a cast, walking boot, etc. Slight limp, but that's it. That's great news— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) August 8, 2016
As Meinke says, this is great news for the Lions. If this was considered a long-term injury that could put his entire season in danger, he would likely not even be at practice. However, the most revealing aspect of the story is Ebron’s lack of a walking boot:
Very positive evidence against Achilles tendon rupture. No boot is key. https://t.co/QloEU9U80N— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) August 8, 2016
If Ebron didn’t rupture his Achilles, chances are somewhat good he will be able to return this season.
However, it still looks like Ebron is still far away from rejoining the team in practice:
Ebron didn't run or even jog at all when teammates went from drill to drill. He did have a slight limp— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) August 8, 2016
The limited mobility shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but this is still big news for the Lions, who have been hyping up Ebron’s development all offseason. He was expected to pick up a lot of the slack left by Calvin Johnson’s retirement, and although it's very likely that he could stand to miss some time to start the season, the Lions can thankfully continue to have him in their 2016 offensive gameplan.
In the meantime, the Lions have not added another tight end to the roster yet, which could be interpreted as a sign of good news when it comes to the prognosis of Ebron’s ankle. Considering the Lions have already made a transaction on Monday, swapping out wide receivers, this could be a signal that Ebron could be back even sooner than expected.
Elsewhere, TJ Jones also sat out practice on Monday. Jones looked wobbly after a hit during Saturday’s practice. After the game, he said he was okay, but refused to comment on whether he went through the concussion protocol.
We will continue to update this post as we get comments from Jim Caldwell.
Update #1: Here’s a look at Ebron walking off practice without any additional support around the ankle area:
Eric Ebron walked off the side of the Lions practice field, choosing not to answer questions. pic.twitter.com/E37FjZdGB1— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) August 8, 2016
Update #2: Jim Caldwell refused to comment on both Ebron’s and Jones’ injuries.
Update #3: Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press is reporting Ebron’s injury is an ankle issue, not an Achilles injury.