Notebook: Delmas plays, Owens injured, Johnson sits and Waddle impresses

Posted Aug 22, 2013

Louis Delmas didn't disappoint with his first action of the 2013 calendar year

Louis Delmas told reporters this week that he felt it was important to play at least once this preseason.

The Lions have maintained all along that their plan regarding the talented young safety is to get him, and that sore knee, ready for the regular season. But when Delmas felt good after going through pregame warm-ups, he and the Lions decided to give it a go.

Delmas made his preseason debut with a productive two series of work.

"Delmas played really well early in that game," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "He gives us a spark every time he's in. He was feeling good pregame and we needed to test that out."

Delmas had an early tackle for loss and made one of the first big plays of the night when he recovered a Zach Sudfeld fumble at the Lions 3-yard line.

"It felt good," he said of the whole experience. "I miss those guys, being out there playing. It's great. It's fun.

"Great is an understatement to how it really felt. It was a breath of fresh air to physically be out there with my teammates."

Lions coaches had to be particularly excited about new safety Glover Quin causing a fumble and Delmas scooping it up. That's what they envisioned when they signed Quin in free agency and re-signed Delmas. He also had a tackle for a loss early in the game.


The Lions may have suffered a significant blow to their special teams units when they lost veteran running back Montell Owens to a knee injury in the second quarter.

The former two-time Pro Bowl cover specialist was signed this offseason to boost the team's cover teams and add depth at running back. Owens made his presence felt on special teams in the second quarter when he popped Patriots receiver Matthew Slater at the New England 16-yard line on a kickoff return.

Owens was hurt later in the quarter on a non-contact play when his knee buckled while he playing running back and trying to plant and cut.

"It didn't look good," Schwartz said after the game of the Owens injury. "But we'll wait and see what the tests look like. There were some encouraging things from the tests they did afterwards, but you don't know and it would be premature to speculate where he is."


After going through pregame warm-ups and feeling that his bruised knee wasn't quite 100 percent, it was decided that receiver Calvin Johnson would sit Thursday's game out. It was the second straight game missed for the All-Pro receiver.

Schwartz said after the game that the goal is to get Johnson 100-percent healthy for the regular season, so sitting him vs. the Patriots was really a no brainer.

Cornerback Chris Greenwood got his first NFL game action. He missed all of last year with an abdominal injury and the first two preseason games because of a hamstring injury.

Rookie Larry Warford made his first start of the preseason.

Not in the lineup for the Lions were quarterback Shaun Hill, cornerback Ross Weaver, tight end Matt Veldman and defensive tackle John Drew.


LaAdrian Waddle has quietly had a very good training camp and was rewarded for his consistent play over the last month with some quality playing time vs. the Patriots.

Waddle found himself at right tackle for a couple series with the first-team offense in the second quarter.

"He's a guy that's super talented," quarterback Matthew Stafford said of Waddle. "Frankly, kind of bewilders me how he didn't get drafted. You look at him and he looks the part. You watch him play and he plays the part.

"I was happy for him. He's been playing well in camp. He's been playing both sides (left and right tackle) in camp so it was nice for him to get to stick to one side kind of with the first group and go out there and play. He's a talented kid and a guy you want to keep getting looks at."

The undrafted rookie out of Texas Tech was the right tackle on the starters' one touchdown drive. He's made a good case to be the team's No. 4 tackle.