Healthy Kyle Van Noy ready to prove himself

Posted Aug 3, 2015

For the first time in almost a year, linebacker Kyle Van Noy is healthy, and he's ready to be a big contributor for the Lions.

Kyle Van Noy had an ear-to-ear smile walking off the practice field Monday after the first Lions training camp practice of the summer.

He certainly has reason to smile. For the first time in almost a year, the second-year linebacker out of BYU is healthy.

Kyle Van NoyLB Kyle Van Noy (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Van Noy suffered core muscle and hip injuries last season. The core muscle injury cost him the first eight games of the season following surgery. He played through the hip injury the second half of the season in an effort to get something out of his rookie year.

He played in 54 defensive snaps the final nine games (including the playoffs) and finished with just six tackles, but it wasn't a lost season. Those games were important for Van Noy to get an up-close look at the speed of the game at this level. It allowed him to prepare for an opponent and learn what that takes on a weekly basis. He learned how difficult it is to go on the road and win in someone else's building.  

“I think it was important to get my mindset right for the future to understand what it’s like to train like a professional,” Van Noy said. “I’m not a rookie anymore.”

He had the hip taken care of after the season, and after a lengthy recovery time says he’s finally healthy.

“It’s nice to be healthy and back at it,” he said. “I have a better mindset. I wake up in the morning just happy that (my) body works correctly. That’s the biggest thing for me because I took it for granted. I’m just happy I’m healthy now.”

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said he could tell by watching Van Noy that he’s healthy.

“I think he’s probably feeling as good as he’s felt in a long time,” Caldwell said. “He had a string of injuries there that held him back a little bit and you can see it out on the field. He’s moving better. His reaction time is better. So when we get pads on we’re certainly excited to see what he can do.”

Van Noy was an impact defender at BYU, recording 226 tackles (62 for loss), 26 sacks, seven interceptions and 11 forced fumbles. The Lions are hoping that translates to their SAM linebacker spot.

He and Tahir Whitehead will compete in camp for the starting role at the SAM.

Whether Van Noy wins the starting job or not, he's expecting to be a big contributor this season and is much more confident he can do that now that he’s healthy.