It was clear from Jim Caldwell’s words in his postgame press conference that Kerry Hyder’s Achilles injury was severe. “He’s got a significant Achilles injury,” Caldwell said. “It doesn’t look good.”
Caldwell said doctors would perform more tests on Hyder this week, and according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the early news is what the Lions feared:
#Lions DE Kerry Hyder will have surgery this week and begin the rehab process immediately. Hyder will be back ready for camp next season— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 14, 2017
Surgery on the Achilles almost certainly confirms that Hyder’s 2017 season is over. The good news here is that this isn’t considered a career-threatening injury. Former NFL doctor turned Twitter doc, David J. Chao, gave some more information on what the recovery is like for an Achilles injury:
Unfortunately achilles tear confirmed.— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) August 14, 2017
Only good news is with injury this early, good chance to be 100% by training camp 2018. https://t.co/5Eg3Ylvj7o
While the recovery process is long, it’s good to hear that Hyder is wasting no time in taking care of things.
Hyder is only on a one-year contract, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be with the Detroit Lions next year. However, he is due to become an exclusive rights free agent after the 2017 season. That means the Lions can offer Hyder a one-year tender offer at the league minimum and retain his rights. Hyder would then have to choose whether to stick with the Lions or sit the season out.
For now, the Lions face an interesting dilemma with Hyder. He doesn’t have four accrued seasons yet, so the Lions cannot simply place him on injured reserve at this point in the offseason. Instead, they could waive him with an injury designation, and if he clears waivers, he would revert to Detroit’s IR list.
There is an unwritten rule in the NFL for teams not to put in a claim for waived/injured players, but that agreement has been broken several times. In fact, the Lions did it with Cowboys’ offensive lineman Bill Nagy in 2012.
The other option for Detroit is to simply wait until cut day and place Hyder on IR then. Considering the Lions are allowed to keep 90 players until that day, it doesn’t really hurt them to carry an injured Hyder on the roster until then.