By Ashley Dunkak

Life on the sidelines is getting old for Louis Delmas.

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The Detroit Lions safety has been on a strict preseason practice schedule to prevent re-injuring the knee that caused him to miss five games in 2011 and another eight in 2012. He has not played in either of the Lions’ first two preseason games, but he hopes that will change on Thursday, when the Lions host the New England Patriots.

“Right now, that’s my goal,” he said. “I’m tired of doing just warm-ups and then seeing my troops go out there and play the game without me. Right now, for me, that’s my goal, and I plan on getting out there and playing.”

Lions coach Jim Schwartz is less committal but says the team certainly needs Delmas and that the Delmas has been doing his best to get back on the field full-time.

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“He makes his presence felt,” Schwartz said. “We’ve missed him when he hasn’t been on the field. He’s worked very hard to get on the field the limited time he’s been able to. He’s made the most of it. We’ve just got to plan as best we can and see if we can push through this part for him.”

Delmas said he thinks getting into a real game before the regular season begins is critical.

“I don’t think there’s one athlete that can just sit back and not play any games and then go out there and have a successful game,” Delmas said. “I mean I did it last year, but – I can’t say that was luck, I’m not going to say that was luck – but I definitely, for me, I think I need it.”

Delmas said when he does return to games, he will do his best to protect himself so he does not get hurt again, but he does not plan on changing his all-out style of play.

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“That’s all I know,” Delmas said. “I hate to say it, but I drive the same way, I walk the same way, I live my life the same way. Full speed … When I go out there, I’m just going to try to give it my all and play 100 miles an hour.”