Relief? Injured Lions Stumble Into Bye Week
Lions QB Daunte Culpepper (AP Photo)
Lions QB Daunte Culpepper (AP Photo)
Special to RoarReport.com
Posted Oct 19, 2009
scout.com


The Lions need their upcoming bye week badly. Not only are they 1-5 -- coming off the NFL's first 0-16 season, with a tough early schedule -- they are bruised and battered.

The Lions need their upcoming bye week badly. Not only are they 1-5 -- coming off the NFL's first 0-16 season, with a tough early schedule -- they are bruised and battered.

At least they can lick their wounds before their next game, Nov. 1 against St. Louis.

"When you go into a bye week, a lot of times you want to go in with a good feeling," coach Jim Schwartz said after Sunday's 26-0 loss at Green Bay. "But sometimes it can be beneficial to go in with a bad feeling.

"We've got to set our jaw. We've got to be determined that this doesn't happen again. We need to get some players back on the field, and we're going to use that bye week to try to accomplish those goals."

Atop the long injury list are their top young offensive players. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson both did not play Sunday because of right knee injuries.

Worse, general manager Martin Mayhew had to dismiss a report the team is worried Stafford might need knee surgery as "just gossip."

Stafford suffered a partially dislocated right kneecap Oct. 4 at Chicago, according to several reports. He didn't play Oct. 11 against Pittsburgh or Sunday against the Packers.

ESPN reported Stafford suffered more swelling in the knee after practicing Wednesday and underwent a new MRI that will be examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

The biggest concern, according to ESPN, is that Stafford's kneecap is loose enough to require surgery. But ESPN reported the Lions hope and believe more rest will be enough.

"I'm not going to comment on it," Mayhew said. "I'm not going to give it any credence or credibility by making a statement about it."

Asked if he was denying the report, Mayhew said: "What I said is what I just said."

Stafford had surgery after a similar injury before his senior year of high school. Asked if he was worried at all about surgery, Stafford said: "No."

Coach Jim Schwartz declined to give details when asked a similar question.

"I'm not going to discuss his prognosis or his status or anything else going forward," Schwartz said. "He has a knee (injury). He hasn't been able to play the last two weeks. He got where he wasn't able to warm up today. But we'll see if we can get him back on the field next week."

The Lions need a lot of players back on the field.

Safety Ko Simpson (hamstring) and defensive linemen Dewayne White (hamstring), Jason Hunter (ankle) and Sammie Hill (ankle) also did not play Sunday because of injuries.

Several other Lions left portions of the game because of injuries, including wide receiver Bryant Johnson, cornerback Phillip Buchanon, safety Louis Delmas and defensive linemen Cliff Avril, Copeland Bryan and Turk McBride.

"I don't want to make excuses, but that's a problem right now," linebacker Larry Foote said. "A lot of us are banged-up. Offense, too. But the bye week, we've got to get healthy."

UNDER THE RADAR: Turk McBride started his second straight game at defensive end after being claimed on waivers from Kansas City last month. He also moved inside at times, even though he weighs only 253 pounds, having lost weight while trying to move to outside linebacker in the Chiefs' new 3-4 scheme. He had five tackles, 1.5 sacks, a tackle for a loss and two quarterback hurries against the Packers.

BY THE NUMBERS: 28 -- Losses for the Lions in their past 30 games. Their next game is against St. Louis, which is 0-6. While Lions fans likely will look at this as a winnable game, so will Rams fans.

  • QB Matthew Stafford did not play Sunday because of a right knee injury. He has missed two games. The Lions dismissed an ESPN report that they are worried he might need surgery.
  • QB Daunte Culpepper left Sunday's game with what he called a slight hamstring pull. He said it would have been severe had he not pulled up while scrambling.
  • WR Calvin Johnson did not play Sunday because of a right knee injury. He is expected to return after the bye week.
  • DT Sammie Hill did not play Sunday because of an ankle injury. He has missed three games.
  • DE Dewayne White did not play Sunday because of a hamstring injury. He has missed three games.
  • DE Jason Hunter did not play Sunday because of an ankle injury.
  • S Ko Simpson did not play Sunday because of a hamstring injury. He has missed two games.
  • LG Daniel Loper started Sunday, while Manny Ramirez was inactive.
  • CB Phillip Buchanon started Sunday but was replaced at times by Demarcus Faggins, who signed last week.

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