By Ashley Dunkak
FORD FIELD (CBS DETROIT) – For the most part, the Detroit Lions have dodged the rash of preseason injuries that has plagued the rest of the teams in the National Football League. In Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots, the Lions had a number of players sidelined by various incidents.
Maybe the most serious of the night happened when running back Montell Owens was carrying the football, moved to juke a defender and fell to the ground without being touched. It looked his knee might have just given out. He appeared not to put any weight on the injured leg as he left the game with the help of trainers.
While Lions coach Jim Schwartz said he was not sure what Owens’ status was, he said it did not look good. Apparently the early tests yielded encouraging signs but more would still be conducted later. Schwartz sounded pleased with what Owens had done in the game to that point.
“We had wanted to get him some runs in there,” Schwartz said. “He’s sort of a hybrid fullback-running back. He stuffed that first one up in there good and we were looking forward to seeing him get that next one, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to finish.”
Another player who left the game early was safety Glover Quin, a major off-season addition to the Lions, who exited the action with a hip bruise. Not appearing concerned, Schwartz said merely that Quin should be fine.
As far as superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who did not play for the second straight preseason game because of a knee bruise, Schwartz said the Lions plan to rest Johnson until he feels back at his best.
“Calvin wasn’t quite 100 percent, and we made the decision to sit him down until he’s 100 percent,” Schwartz said. “We need him 100 percent going into the season, so we just decided to scratch him at the last minute.”
Returning from injury was safety Louis Delmas, who recovered a New England fumble during his limited time in the game. Delmas, who has battled knee injuries the past two seasons, said earlier in the week that his goal was to play Thursday. He did, and he made people take notice.
“Delmas played really well, too, early in that game,” Schwartz said. “He gives us a spark whenever he’s in. He was feeling good pregame, and we needed to test that out.”
For the others, questions remain to be answered, but for Delmas, at least Thursday, the results looked positive.