By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Hampered by injury the past two seasons, Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas cannot guarantee he will be good to go for all 16 of his team’s games this year.
“That’s predicting way too far in the future,” Delmas said. “Anything can happen. I’ll take it one game at a time, and I’ll go out there and play my heart out. If I can make it to the second game, I’ll make it to the second game. If I can make all 16 games, I’ll make all 16 games.
“I plan on doing it,” Delmas added. “I do. But like I say, anything can happen, so you don’t want to put a burden on that.”
He does, however, feel much more capable than he has in a long time – capable enough, even, to take the field Friday for the Lions’ first preseason game.
“I feel like I can go out there and play,” Delmas said. “I’ve been telling my coaches, this is the best I’ve felt in two years, so I don’t know how much of a compliment that is, but that’s damn sure a big compliment for me.”
After injuring his MCL in 2011 and dealing with subsequent issues last season as well, Delmas could be understood for taking it just a little bit easier, maybe staying on the safe side a little more often.
Maybe that would be the wise route. For Delmas, though, it is not an option.
“Once you get out there in the game and the bullets start flying, you just go back to what you know,” Delmas said. “If I can make a play and make it look good, I’m going to make it look good. If I can punish somebody, I’m going to punish somebody. That’s always been the way I’ve played the game, and that’s the only way I know how.”
Delmas played 11 games in 2011 and eight games – just half the season – in 2012. Detroit is counting on him to be available more in 2013. Fellow safety Glover Quin, recently acquired from the Houston Texans, has received rave reviews, and a pairing between him and Delmas is the goal.
First, though, Delmas has to be healthy.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said the day before training camp began that the team had a strict schedule for Delmas, allowing him limited participation after he had to sit out OTAs and mini-camp earlier in the summer.