Detroit Lions linebacker Steve Longa was apparently seen by reporters walking around with a heave brace on his knee after the team’s 30-17 loss to the hands of the New York Giants Friday night. While we are still awaiting an MRI to determine the severity of the injury initial fears are that it was a torn ACL that will leave him out for the rest of the season, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter.
The #Lions may have lost LB and special teamer Steve Longa for the season. The fear is Longa, spotted by reporters wearing a bulky brace, tore his ACL last night vs #Giants, source said. He’s getting an MRI to determine the final result.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 18, 2018
The linebacker appeared to have injured his knee on Kyle Lauletta’s third quarter touchdown run and needed assistance walking off the field. He did not return to the game.
The Rutgers product is entering his third year in the NFL since the Lions signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He played in 15 games for Detroit last season and recorded one total tackle. The majority of his snaps came on special teams. He had spent much of 2018 training camp and preseason as the second team middle linebacker behind sophomore Jarrad Davis.
Head coach Matt Patricia had raved about the improvement Longa had shown so far in the off season just a few days ago after a joint practice with the Giants.
Matt Patricia with high praise for Steve Longa. He praises a lot of guys, but he is one who showed good improvement yesterday. He got burned in one 1-on-1 with a tight end and then shut Evan Engram down on the next.— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkins_) August 15, 2018
Longa was a part of Pride of Detroit’s roster bubble watch last week, where the staff was split on his potential to make the final 53-man roster. It will be up to the likes of linebackers Chad Meredith and Jonathan Freeny to fill the potential void left behind by his injury.