LIONS INSIDER

Darius Slay says knee injury not an issue; wants to return kicks, too

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Lions' GM Martin Mayhew said Slay more than likely fell to them in the second round due to a torn meniscus in his knee, which Slay says is a non-issue

Darius SlayCB Darius Slay (Photo: AP Images)
Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said Darius Slay probably fell to them in the second round Friday because of a torn meniscus in his knee.

Slay seemed a little surprised by that when talking to the Detroit media following the Lions picking them. When asked when the knee started bothering him, he said it never really did.

"They just did an MRI on it," he said. "They just said you have a torn meniscus, I guess. That was it.

"I haven't had any surgery or anything, but my knee is pretty healthy right now. I've been working out on it, I'm great."

Slay has been working out for teams on the knee and said he's been told that he won't need surgery.

"We are aware of his physical condition and he's in good physical condition," Mayhew said of Slay. "He visited with us in the last couple weeks and we're on top of that. We are aware that there is a physical issue with his knee. We're aware of that and we're comfortable with that."

Slay was one of the team's 30 allotted pre-draft visits. During that visit, Slay was told by the team that if he fell to the second round they were going to take him. Obviously, they were true to their word.

"I guess with my athletic ability and my size and all the skill set that I have," Slay said of what the Lions like about him. "I think it really shocked them to know that I'm potentially a guy who can look like I can play for a long time."

Slay, 6-foot, 192 pounds, is a big, strong cornerback with good cover skills. He certainly fits the size profile the Lions are looking for.

The former running back converted to cornerback full time at Itawamba Community College.

Slay also met with Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego during his visit and said the Lions have talked to him about the possibility of returning kicks.

"I was the number one junior college returner when I came out," he said of his first two years playing junior college ball before transferring to Mississippi State. "I don't know why I didn't this year, but I'm looking forward to returning.

"They said that they found out that I did returns. So, they will probably let me practice it. But I'm ready to get there."

That's a win-win for the Lions if Slay can compete for their open right cornerback spot and also fill a big need as a kick returner.