Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is not one of those people. In fact, he looks at the situation a different way.
“He still has very good speed, he still has very good agility,” Schwartz said. “We’re seeing right now the beginning of the benefits of him going through and having those surgeries at the end of last year and then at training camp this year. We can be at a better spot in the future rather than the other way around.”
Instead of the injuries being a nagging thing throughout the course of his career, Schwartz and the Lions are hopeful they’ve taken the necessary steps to put Delmas’ knee troubles behind him permanently.
“I think that when he gets those things put past him or when they get behind him that’s where he’ll be,” Schwartz said. “One week it’s looked good and it looks like we’ve accomplished that.”
Delmas was on the practice field for a third straight day Thursday and seems in line to make his season debut Sunday in Philadelphia, though Schwartz said that determination won’t be made until later in the week. He was limited on Wednesday’s injury report.
“I usually just go with the injury report, but with him, because he hasn't practiced the whole year, he's had no setbacks,” Schwartz said.
“He's looked good. We still have ground to cover until Sunday. We still treat him and keep an eye on things. But we've been very encouraged by getting him on the field last week and being able to get him back on the field this week. I think those were import things. He's on a good track. Whether or not he gets it to Sunday, we still have some time. We'll wait and see.”
The Lions are certainly more athletic and can cover more ground in the back end of their defense with Delmas on the field. He was a Pro Bowl alternate last season, despite missing the team’s last five games of the regular season, and is also a vocal leader on the field.
“More than being a contributor or being able to make plays, Louis' spirit and enthusiasm is contagious,” Schwartz said. “It permeates through the defense.”
The Lions could use all the help as they try to climb out of a 1-3 hole against an explosive Eagles offense that already has 23 plays of 20-plus yards on the season, tied for fifth-most in the league.