NEWS

Key Questions: Statuses of Backus and Florence, the next No. 2 receiver and Fairley's performance

Posted Nov 19, 2012

Aside from the news regarding Titus Young, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz talked about a number of other topics Monday including some health issues and a couple good performances in a rather unforgettable game vs. the Packers Sunday.

Aside from the news that Lions receiver Titus Young will be inactive for Thursday's Thanksgiving Day game vs. Houston, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz talked about a number of other topics Monday including some health issues and a couple good performances in a rather unforgettable game vs. the Packers Sunday.

Q: What is the status of left tackle Jeff Backus?

A: Backus left Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Packers in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. With the short turnaround before the Lions are back on the field, Backus' iron-man streak of 186 consecutive starts is in jeopardy.

"It's probably going to be doubtful that he'll be able to play on a short week like this," Schwartz said.

So, will Rookie Riley Reiff be ready to step in?

"It definitely gives him a chance to settle in at the left tackle spot and be able to get a week, or a couple days, of stuff like that," Schwartz said of Reiff getting a week to prepare for the likely start.

Reiff played the whole second half for Backus on Sunday with mixed results.

"Just like any other player, he was inconsistent at times but did some good things for us and we can all play a little bit better," Schwartz said.

Q: Cornerback Drayton Florence was evaluated for a concussion early in the game, what is his status?

A: Florence was evaluated for a concussion after making a tackle along the sideline on the Lions' first defensive play of the game. He was evaluated on the sideline and cleared to return. He finished with six tackles.

Florence was fine after the game, but woke up with a headache on Monday and was diagnosed with a concussion.

"The official removed him from the game," Schwartz said. "Our guys checked him. He passed all the tests on the sideline. He returned to play. He played pretty well. Didn't have any signs as we went forward. Didn't seek any treatments, wasn't having any symptoms after the game.

"This morning woke up with a headache. Can't say mild or severe or anything else, but our guys did diagnose him this morning with a concussion, so he's listed today with a concussion."

Florence was playing in his first game since Week 2 when he broke his forearm at San Francisco. He'll be day-to-day until he passes NFL concussion protocol.

Q: With Young out Thursday, who fills the void as the No. 2 receiver?

A: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said it was a simple case of the next guy stepping up.

"Next guy in, fill in, and let's go play. It's football," he said Monday.

Rookie Ryan Broyles seems like a pretty good candidate. Broyles has caught 15 of the 18 balls thrown his way this season.

"Every time I throw him the ball, he makes a play," Stafford said of Broyles. "Maybe I should throw it to him some more. I'm sure he'd like that."

Broyles seems to be getting healthier each and every week, now a year removed from ACL surgery.

Schwartz said newly-acquired Mike Thomas and Brian Robiskie should benefit, too.

"Whenever he's been given the opportunity he's made plays," Schwartz said of Broyles.

"And with the situation with Titus, he's one of the guys that has the potential to be able to benefit from that. As will Mike Thomas, who we just traded for recently, and even Brian Robiskie."

Q: Was Nick Fairley as dominant Sunday as it appeared at first glance?

A: In one word: Yes.

Sunday's seven-tackle, two-sack, two-tackles-for-loss performance Sunday was the best of his career. In just his fourth career start, Fairley is emerging as a force in the middle of that Lions defense.

"Oh, I don't think there's any doubt it was his best game," Schwartz said.

"It's probably the best complete game that he played and even going back when we played New Orleans on that Sunday night he played a quarter and had a sack, a couple tackles for loss, I think four tackles and he was only in one quarter of play.

"I mean, this was probably his most assignment-sound game that he's ever played and it showed in the stat sheet and it showed in the play."

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