Lions players were having quite a good time at kicker Jason Hanson's expense. He's missing his second straight training camp with arthroscopic knee surgery and some of the veterans were accusing him of Favre-ing it. Hanson, who is 40, would be the oldest player in the NFC North if Brett Favre doesn't come back.
"Yeah, but that's tainted because I am a kicker," he said. "Either I am living a lie or something but I really feel I can continue to play. I just need to stop visiting the surgeon and stay on the field."
For the second consecutive year, Hanson's age has been confirmed the scalpel.
Hanson arthroscopic surgery on his right (kicking) knee last season. This year, he had the knee on his plant leg scoped. He underwent surgery on Aug. 18 last year and kicked in the season-opener. His surgery this year was on Aug. 3, so he certainly expects to be ready for the opener.
"Yeah, what's unknown is that it's the plant leg. Will it be stable and fine or will it be more of an issue because there's more force on it," Hanson said. "Everything has been positive, so it should be all right."
The Lions will use rookie Aaron Pettrey out of Ohio State in the exhibition season. He's got a strong leg and coach Jim Schwartz indicated that he wouldn't "close the door" on keeping him to handle kickoffs if Hanson doesn't regain full strength.
MORE CAMP NOTES:
- In somewhat of a surprise, the Lions cut nine-year veteran S Marquand Manuel on the third day of practice and replaced him with undrafted rookie S Randy Phillips. Manuel had incurred Schwartz's wrath the previous day for knocking a wide receiver to the turf in a non-tackling drill.
- The Lions cut Phillips after mini-camp, but he played for secondary coach Tim Walton at University of Miami. By his second practice, Phillips was working with the first-team defense.
- The Lions cut DT Leger Douzable to clear a roster spot for Suh.
- It appears that if RB Aaron Brown is going to win a roster spot, he's going to have to do it with his work on special teams. Jahvid Best, Kevin Smith, Jerome Felton and probably Maurice Morris are ahead of him at running back. Brown has been working on both kick and punt return teams.
- LB Caleb Campbell right now appears ticketed for the practice squad. He's having trouble making the jump from safety to linebacker.
- How many players in the NFL play middle linebacker and work in as a nickel back? That's what Jordon Dizon has been doing. At 232 he is probably too light to play MLB full time, but he has been impressive with his quickness and tenacity.
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: With Delmas out, both safety spots are open. It appears, though, that six-year veteran C.C. Brown is winning one of those spots. Undrafted rookie Randy Phillips had a good week and moved temporarily ahead of Marvin White and Jonathan Hefney at Delmas' spot. Ko Simpson, who was expected to be in the mix, hasn't practiced yet coming off knee surgery.
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Ndamukong Suh is going to start at defensive tackle, barring injury. But second-year tackle Sammie Hill is pushing for playing time. He's a strong, 330 pounds and has vastly improved his technique.
Gosder Cherilus has moved ahead of Jon Jansen at the right tackle spot.
It appears coach Jim Schwartz is comfortable splitting the running back spot between Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith. Neither is an every-play back.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Lots of candidates here but DE Kyle Vanden Bosch has made a huge impact on and off the field. His hustle and intensity have been infectious. He's giving the defensive unit a much-needed edge. Players like Suh, Hill and Cliff Avril are clearly benefitting from his leadership.
ROOKIE REPORT: RB Jahvid Best is as advertised -- lightning fast. He has terrific balance and doesn't lose ground or much speed when he moves laterally. He also catches the ball extremely well. OT Jason Fox, a four-year starter at Miami, has impressed the coaches early. CB Aaron Berry was having a solid camp until he pulled a hamstring on Friday. TE Richard Dickson probably won't make the squad but he is solid player who could perhaps stay on the practice squad.
INJURY REPORT: PK Jason Hanson (left knee scope), due back for season-opener ... LB DeAndre Levy (back) day-to-day, DB Aaron Berry (hamstring), day-to-day ... FB Jerome Felton (foot), day-to-day ... DB Amari Spievey (oblique), day-to-day ... WR Mike Moore (shoulder), day-to-day; DE Jared DeVries (knee), day-to-day ... S Louis Delmas (groin), S Ko Simpson (knee), DB Jack Williams (knee), TE Will Heller (back) on PUP.