It turns out the Detroit Lions’ injury scares from Tuesday’s practice were relatively minor. Both tight end T.J. Hockenson and defensive tackle Da’Shawn Hand avoided serious injuries, according to head coach Dan Campbell, despite leaving Day 11 of training camp a little early.
“Both of those guys there, again, we feel like those are minor,” Campbell said. “We’re just (being) precautionary.”
Hand left practice after coming up limping following a one-on-one pass rushing drill. Hockenson came crashing down on a defender during a seven-on-seven drill. For proven guys like those two, Campbell said it just wasn’t worth it to push them.
“Like Hockenson, he’s had a real good camp and he’s been healthy, he’s been good,” Campbell said. “We feel like he’s going to be fine, but yet, we want to make sure we’re taking care of them, too.”
The Lions head coach also provided an update on second-round rookie Levi Onwuzurike, who has been held out almost all of training camp with an unknown issue. As it turns out, Onwuzurike is dealing with some injuries from his college days at Washington, including a tight back, that they wanted to make sure was completely right before throwing him into contact.
“So we wanted just to get some clarity on where that was at. We’ve sent him around to a couple of specialists—just making sure—and everything seems to be good,” Campbell said. “So we just chose that, let’s just really think about rehab, strengthening, things of that nature this week, and then let’s fire it up next week. So you’ll see him next week is the plan.”
Obviously, there is some concern that a young player like him is not getting the early reps he needs to be ready for the start of the regular season, but Campbell didn’t seem too worried.
“It hurts a little bit, it does,” Campbell said. “You miss out on a good week, week-and-a-half of some work in pads, but yet I would tell you there’s still time. There’s still time to get him there, and he’ll continue to grow as the season goes. We want him to develop, we want him to come along. That’s the reason we drafted him, but also, I don’t want to be like we’re in a hurry to do something that he’s not ready for either. We’ll take this as it comes, because he’s willing to put the work. It’s nothing like that. He’s hungry. He’s mad at us that we sent him to somewhere else. He wants to practice, man.”