But in the NFL, it’s not a matter of if injuries are going to happen, but rather when. It’s why so many times teams that make the playoffs are the ones who stay the healthiest or have terrific contributions from some backups.
Depth is an important part of any NFL roster and is why players like Detroit Lions safety
Carey has 19 career starts and nine over the last two seasons in Detroit. He’s a veteran, he’s experienced, he can play both strong and free safety, and he’s very good on special teams.
He’s the kind of player who doesn’t get a lot of press, but his role is important in the grand scheme of things.
“I don’t think his role changes at all,” defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said of Carey. “I think Don gives you great flexibility. Having been around the league, guys like Don are hard to come by. He is smart enough to play a bunch of different positions, but also having the physical ability to do it.”
In three years in Detroit, Carey has played safety, nickel corner and even cornerback in an emergency. He’s a player who has worn many hats and there’s real value in that.
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew certainly values the role Carey plays with this team, signing him to a three-year extension last December.
“He’s a pretty valuable piece for us and I know he does a great job on special teams,” Austin said. “Guys like that, you have to have your starters, but you’ve got to have a lot of guys like Don Carey on your team if you want to win.”