The Lions have now been through two weeks of camp, and there have definitely been some interesting developments.
This is what we saw this week and what it could mean.
Camp Bad Knees
Actually Jim Schwartz was calling it just Camp Knee, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, but since there were more than one, I’ll go further.
Apparently half the team was out Friday with knee issues. Well, OK, that’s what we call hyperbole, but five players missed time on Friday with knee issues.
Louis Delmas has been out almost all of the last five practices, and he was joined by Corey Williams, Stephen Tulloch, Titus Young and rookie Ryan Broyles.
None appear to be bad, mostly just sore.
Other injuries on the day were a hamstring injury to safety Don Casey and a dehydration issue with defensive end Ronnell Lewis. Of course, Mikel Leshoure is still dealing with lower body injuries, and Jahvid Best is not cleared for contact.
Most of the above is preventative—I’d like to see Broyles playing but let’s be honest, with the depth at wide receiver there is no rush.
Better to be cautious than not in most cases. Speaking of which...
What’s Best for Best
I’ve made my opinion clear—at this point we may be looking at Jahvid Best being shelved for the year, perhaps, his career.
I have no inside information, just a gut feeling and some insight from medical people.
However, as many have said, if we are still talking about a hang-up after nine months, there simply must be something further going on. We’re beyond mere caution now.
Unless that’s some Wrath of Khan code, that seems to be very bad.
Can Best recover and play? I suppose anything is possible. However after nine months of not passing tests, what would have changed.
I have a lot of questions. I really hope the team, Best and the medical staff both are dealing with have the right answers and pay attention to them.
Titus Young and Focus
Young has been on fire this camp and been really revitalized. Whether it was the fight with Delmas or something else, he’s determined and focused.
This is all well and good but will amount to nada if he can’t stay in control in the regular season. You can bet defensive players across the league will get on him about that fight-and more-to see if they can provoke him and get him off his game.
Which, I guess, is a theme for the whole team right now.
Everyone seems to have counted the Lions out nationally. This team has, in some ways, given them every reason to. They will be tested, and teams will goad them to try to get them to be stupid on the field.
Their ability to remain focused and ignore distractions is key to the season as much as Stafford’s or Calvin Johnson’s health.
Rumble Willie Young Rumble
With Cliff Avril holding out and skipping camp, there was a question as to whether someone might step up at defensive end while they have the chance.
Willie Young answered the bell.
Whether the Avril situation is fixed or not in time for the season, Young will have earned himself a bigger piece of the workload.
He’s not just sitting and assuming though. Young is hungry and working hard.
This is going to hurt Avril’s chances for a bigger contract as well.
Avril had a great 2011 after three years of decent and solid play. If the Lions feel they may have his replacement, Avril might have to take the tender and prove he can do it all over again.