By: Will Burchfield
Out of concern for his long-term health, injured Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy is awaiting full medical clearance before he resumes playing, a source close with the team said on Wednesday evening.
Levy has been out with a quad injury since the Lions Week 1 win over the Indianapolis Colts. On Wednesday, the team indicated that he is dealing with a knee injury, as well.
According to the source, Levy has received conflicting reports from the doctors with whom he has visited. Some have cleared him to play, others have not. Until he receives full approval and is convinced he is 100 percent healthy, he will continue to sit out.
Without Levy, the Lions have struggled. They are 0-3 in his absence, and have looked vulnerable and out of sync on defense. Levy would presumably help remedy these issues, but it appears he is not willing to do so at the increased risk of his long-term health.
While the exact nature of Levy’s injury remains unclear, the source believes Levy will return by midseason, possibly as early as Week 6. Ultimately, it’s a matter of Levy feeling comfortable with his body and what doctors are telling him.
It’s not the first time that Levy has grappled with the health risks of his profession. Earlier this year, he was quoted in the Detroit Free Press urging the NFL to be more up-front about the connection between football and the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
“I’m not asking for this game to be any less dangerous nor risky, I’m asking for there to be transparency about those risks and allow people to make their own, informed decisions,” Levy wrote in an email. “As I’ve stated before, I’m choosing to continue to play in spite of CTE or any other post-football health issue that may arise.”
And until he is convinced that returning to action won’t put him at risk of further injury, Levy will continue to sit out.