Jeff Riger: News And Notes From Thursday’s Lions Practice
As the Lions continue to get ready for a night affair in New Orleans with the Saints on Sunday, the questions about Ndamukong Suh continue to come. Thursday is the day that Suh is to appeal his 2 game suspension and one reporter in particular was interested if Jim Schwartz had any idea of when the Lions might hear word of the outcome? Schwartz, particularly annoyed at the time said “I know this; our focus is on the New Orleans Saints, not on anything else.”
Of course it’s not just Schwartz who is being asked about Suh, it’s everyone in the organization. Nate Burleson shared a story with the media about ordering some fries at a local fast food establishment. And before Burleson could even get his order out, he was asked about the status of Suh and how the appeal would go. Most of the offensive players refuse to talk about Suh, while the defensive players seem to try to avoid the media these days for fear of being asked the same questions. I think it goes without saying that Suh has become a distraction and everybody at Allen Park will be thrilled when he is back on the field and at practice to answer questions himself.
Overheard at practice:
Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan assured all that Matt Stafford is almost fully recovered from his finger injury. “He was able to play and play effectively. He’s really done a great job of soldiering through that injury and I think that he’s close to having it behind him. But it hasn’t been easy, I can tell you that” Linehan said. Stafford will play without the aid of a glove on his throwing hand for the first time in three games.
Linehan also made sure to let the media know that if Kevin Smith was not ready to go on Sunday then Aaron Brown would be. “Aaron has got good recollection of what we are doing, so he will be able to be ready to play for us if we needed to call upon him” Linehan said.
As for Smith himself, he thinks things are turning for the better. “Today is Thursday and I was able to practice a full practice. It feels good, but it is still an ankle sprain, but it’s football” Smith said.