“It felt good to actually get back out there with my teammates, who I haven’t been out there with for the last three months,” he said. “To get around, to get out there and run around with them and participate in team activities felt good. I think I gave myself an extra boost and I think I’ll be able to help my team out a lot once I get back out there on the field.”
If Delmas does play against the Eagles, the Lions could closely monitor his playing time.
“Now, as far as playing time, how much he’s going to play, I can’t tell you that right now,” Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. “He worked hard this week but we need to be careful, too, you know? You can’t just come back and play 100 plays. So we’re going to have to be bright about that and Jim’s (Schwartz) in charge of it, so he’ll handle it and he’ll handle it right.”
Delmas did not practice Friday after being a limited participant both Wednesday and Thursday, but Schwartz said that was by design.
“We had planned to ease him back at the end of the week,” he said after practice. “He's doing well. He's not having any setbacks and I'd like to keep it that way. “
After practice, Delmas said he’s getting better every day but isn’t 100 percent yet and didn’t know if he’d play Sunday.
“Yeah, each and every day I feel like I’m getting stronger,” he said. “But, like I said, I’m not 100 percent right now, so therefore, game day is optional. But we’ll see. If my coaches and my trainers think I’ll be able to go then I’ll go.”
Delmas had surgery Aug. 7 to relieve soreness in his knee. He underwent a separate operation on his other knee late last year before the Lions' game in Oakland. After his latest procedure and rehab, Delmas seems convinced his knee troubles are behind him.
“I’m good. I’m clear-minded now,” he said. “The monkey's off my back. I just can’t wait for that; can’t wait to get out there and show the city of Detroit what they’ve been waiting on. That’s to go out there and participate with my teammates and get a couple wins out there.”
Understandably, Delmas said he’s been frustrated not being able to practice and play the past few months. The past week (he returned to practice for the first time since Day 2 of training camp last Wednesday) has been a big boost for him. He's the best safety the Lions have and his addition to the lineup would also be huge for the 1-3 Lions.
There are few people in the organization who are happier to have Delmas back on the field than Cunningham, though.
“My hearing has to be adjusted a little bit,” Cunningham said Friday. “We had one last week and everybody thought we were serious. We had a little shouting match, but we were just practicing for his return this week.
“Obviously, you know, he’s not just a really good player, but he’s a big time leader on this team and I think, no matter who you ask in the organization, just tell you the same thing I said. He’s so important to us because he makes us go.”