LIONS INSIDER

NOTEBOOK: Lions place WR TJ Jones on PUP list

Posted Aug 23, 2014

Tim Twentyman covers all the news from Saturday's practice including TJ Jones' designation, Kyle Van Noy's injury and more.

TJ Jones’ rookie season isn’t going to begin like he hoped, or expected it would.

Jones, who’s been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp started, will remain on the list when the regular season begins. The Lions placed him on the reserve/physically unable to perform list Saturday afternoon.

Jones must sit out the first six weeks of the season. After that, the Lions have a five-week window in which to allow him to begin practicing. The day he begins practicing, the team has an additional 21-day window to decide to activate him to the 53-man roster.

“You find that young guys heal pretty quickly and hopefully he’ll be in a position to help us out and see where he is at that time,” head coach Jim Caldwell said.

“We have a window after he’s released to practice and those kind of things to make that determination, so we’ll see how that goes.”

Jones had offseason shoulder surgery from a preexisting injury suffered in college. It got progressively worse in OTAs and the Lions decided to fix the problem once and for all.

This might actually be the best thing for Jones, who would have been in a very tight competition with the likes of Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham, Kevin Ogletree and Corey Fuller to make the roster.

“It has its pluses and negatives,” Jones said of the designation. “I think it’s a positive thing to give me a chance to heal up and show what I can offer and bring to the table. But at the same time I’m sitting out another six weeks, so it’s another kind of stressful factor to deal with.”

VAN NOY TO UNDERGO TESTS

Kyle Van NoyLB Kyle Van Noy (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Friday night’s victory over Jacksonville in the third preseason game for the Lions was the first football game linebacker Kyle Van Noy says he’s ever missed in his life due to injury.

“It’s really frustrating,” Van Noy said after Saturday’s practice. “I’ve never been injured until I got here.”

Van Noy has an abdominal injury that he noticed on Thursday. He dealt with a thumb injury earlier in training camp.

He said he’s fearful the injury could be a sports hernia, but said he has to undergo more tests before that will be known. Caldwell was asked if the injury could be long term before practice and said he hasn’t been told that as of yet.

“He still has evaluation to go through and so they’ll make a determinate on those kinds of things here in the near future," Caldwell said.

Tahir Whitehead got the start at the SAM linebacker against the Jaguars and recorded 10 tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss in a terrific performance. If Van Noy is out any extended amount of time, Whitehead will have to continue to be a playmaker for this linebacking corps.

“He played amazing and I hope I can play even close to what he played like,” Van Noy said of Whitehead’s performance Friday night.

MOVING UP THE DEPTH CHART

One of the few surprise players so far in training camp and the preseason for the Lions has been defensive end George Johnson.

Johnson, who played parts of the past two seasons in Minnesota, has shown to have a quick first step and a knack for getting after the quarterback.

The former defensive tackle turned edge rusher recorded a sack, two quarterback hits and three tackles against Jacksonville. He’s provided a number of nice pressures this preseason.

His play has earned him more reps as camp has gone by and he looks like he’s playing his way into joining Ziggy Ansah, Jason Jones, Devin Taylor and Larry Webster among the final defensive end group.

“He played pretty well,” Caldwell said of Johnson. “Lot of effort plays, he was active, he was tough and threw his body around, he did a nice job in the scrimmage plays and special teams, as well.”

“That’s a position where you have to be able to do a little bit of everything. Fortunately, he has that skillset that he can operate in space and he certainly can operate with his hand on the ground.”

MR. FIRST DOWN

Ryan Broyles has caught eight passes so far in the preseason. Seven of those have resulted in a first down.

“I think you can see that he feels good about where he is physically,” Caldwell said.

“I think you can see the results. He’s got his explosion. I don’t exactly know what he looked like up close and personal before his injuries, but since the spring you can see that he has spring in his step.

“He has an unusual knack of being able to split two defenders with speed and power. His hands are reliable. So, you know he’s doing a nice job.”

The one catch that didn’t result in a third down was a 2nd and 9 play vs. Cleveland in which Broyles picked up seven yards. The Lions picked up the first down on the next play and ended up kicking a field goal.

If there's one thing Broyles is proving it's that he's reliable. Quarterbacks like reliable.

ROSTER CUTS

The Lions began the trim down of their roster Saturday by releasing G Alex Bullard, G A.J. Dalton, DT Greg Hickman, RB Steven Miller, DE Kris Redding and WR Conner Vernon.

They need to make seven more roster cuts to get to the 75-player limit by 4 p.m. Tuesday.