“When one guy goes down the next guy has to step up and make plays,” Fairley said of veteran defensive tackle
Fairley has been playing the best football of his career over the last month and now guys like
“(It was) a very difficult decision because… he’s an extremely tough player,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of the decision to put Williams on IR. “He’s played through a lot of injuries and a lot of pain and you can always count on him.
"It tells you a little bit about how his knee has been the fact that he wasn’t able to do that.”
The knee has bothered Williams since September and he underwent surgery late that month and has missed six games this season because of it.
“Corey started off the year with one of the best games that we’ve had from a defensive tackle against the Rams (Week 1),” Schwartz said. “Since then his knee has really been a problem. It’s been hard for him to practice consistently. It’s been hard for him to be able to go out and do what he can normally do as a player."
Schwartz said more surgery could be a possibility, but he needed rest more than anything else right now.
In the meantime, Hill and Fluellen will play behind starters
Fairley didn’t practice Wednesday due a shoulder injury he suffered in the fourth quarter Sunday in Green Bay, but said he was working with the trainers and doctors and was hopeful he could play Sunday.
DELMAS NOT DONE YET
While the Lions placed one ailing knee on injured reserve Tuesday, Schwartz said the team hasn’t gotten to that point with safety
“All of our guys we just take on a game-by-game basis or day-by-day basis to see where they are,” Schwartz said. “Lou’s been battling the whole time. Couple weeks ago he was available; last week he wasn’t. He’s a competitor. He wants to be out there every single time, but hasn’t always been able to get that done.”
Delmas has missed eight games this season and did not practice again Wednesday. The Lions are hoping the extended rest will allow him to play in Arizona Sunday, though.
FREE AGENT GRIND
Fluellen had a workout with the Lions a few weeks ago when the possibility of the team being forced to shut Williams down for the year became more of a reality. The team didn’t sign Fluellen at the time, in hopes that Williams could battle through the injury, but he said he always stayed ready.
Fluellen played two games with the Dolphins earlier this season, but has been unemployed for the last couple months.
“You learn a lot about yourself (as a free agent),” Fluellen said. “Me working out on my own and doing things on my own, I really had to be self motivated and really disciplined.
"When you’re on a team, everything is regimented for you. That’s the hard part, but it was good for me to keep myself motivated.”
It certainly paid off in the end.
The Lions won their last four games after starting 2-10 in 2010 season and just continued on winning with a 5-0 start to the 2011 season.
The team has currently lost five in a row and Schwartz was asked Wednesday if there was any concern that 0-8 to end this season could have any effect on next season.
“I think that you have to be careful of thinking anything is going carry over from one year to the next,” he said. “That’s a long offseason and things like that. Our job is to go out and win this game and not worry about what’s going to happen afterwards or a month from now or anything else.”