Tim Twentyman covers all the news from Thursday's preseason finale in Buffalo including Kyle Van Noy's surgery, Travis Swanson's X-Ray and more.
Rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy had successful surgery Thursday morning to fix a core muscle injury. Head coach Jim Caldwell said after Thursday night’s game in Buffalo that the team should know in a day or two what his timetable for recovery will be.
“Not certain yet. He had the evaluation and then the surgery, so the doctors will let us know what they think after a day or so,” Caldwell said.
The Lions’ second-round draft pick first noticed the injury in a light practice a day before the team’s third preseason game against Jacksonville.
The team should know his status before Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline to trim the roster from 75 to 53. A decision will have to be made on whether they’ll look at it as a week-to-week thing and keep him active, or place him on injured reserve with the designation to return.
If the Lions decide to do the latter, he’ll have to sit out the first six games before he can return to practice. At that point the Lions will have to determine if he’s ready to go or shut him down the rest of the year.
“I’m not certain of what the prognosis is going to be,” Caldwell said. “We’ll announce that I’m sure in the next day or so after we’ve had a chance to discuss it thoroughly.”
SWANSON IS FINE
Offensive linemen have to be significantly injured for them to miss snaps. They are a rare breed in that sense. Injured and hurt are two very different things in a linemen's world.
So when third-round pick Travis Swanson injured his left index finger early in Thursday’s 23-0 win over Buffalo, he did what most lineman do. He kept playing.
Swanson went for X-rays after the game, which came back negative.
“Some little sprain happened early in the game,” Swanson said. “I played through it and I told them at the end of the game. They just wanted to make sure it was nothing.”
Swanson is fighting to be the active backup interior lineman on game day. He played probably his best game of the preseason in Buffalo, making a strong case to be that guy.
IHEDIGBO LEFT BEHIND
Van Noy and veteran safety James Ihedigbo didn’t make the trip to Buffalo. Caldwell said Ihedigbo, his projected starting strong safety, didn’t make the trip because of an undisclosed injury.
“We felt he could get treatment a little bit better at home than he could here,” Caldwell said. “Just to keep him off the plane and just make sure he’s getting the treatment he needs.”
The Lions have kept Ihedigbo out of practice recently for what Caldwell has described as “rest.”
Isa Abdul-Quddus and Jerome Couplin played well in his absence Thursday night.
It might have been just another preseason game, but when a defense can pitch a shutout in this league, it says something about their performance.
“They ran around, I thought they tackled well. They made plays – certainly took the ball away,” Caldwell said of his defense.
“We didn’t have any turnovers and were able to get three, which was huge for us. Certainly not a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination, but one that I think we can build upon.”
In fact, the Lions won the turnover battle 3-0 with interceptions by Abdul-Quddus, Mohammed Seisay and Nate Ness.
They also recorded four sacks (George Johnson, 1.5; Ziggy Ansah, 1; Nick Fairley, .5; Caraun Reid, .5; Andre Fluellen, .5).
PENALTIES STILL AN ISSUE
The Lions recorded their third consecutive preseason game with double-digit penalties in Buffalo. They finished with 10 penalties for 68 yards.
The officials are calling penalties tighter this year and the Lions continue to struggle with their adjustment to the stricter enforcement.
“Our penalties were still a bit high for us, but less than what we had last week,” Caldwell said. “We still have work to do in that area.”