Starting tight end Eric Ebron hasn't done much in front of reporters since suffering a leg injury and being carted off the field Aug. 6 during the team's mock game at Ford Field.
He showed up to one practice in a helmet and shoulder pads, but didn't take part in any reps during the open portion of that practice. He's jogged on the field a few times, and caught some balls from the Jugs machine, but that's been about it – until pregame Thursday.
Ebron ran routes and caught passes with the other tight ends during pregame warmups. He didn't participate in Detroit's 31-0 win over Buffalo, but the fact that he was on the field and running routes, and didn't look hampered doing so, is good news for his availability for the season opener in Indianapolis Sept. 11.
The Lions will release their first injury report of the season next Wednesday at 4 p.m.
MAKING IT TOUGH
As part of his postgame speech after Thursday's game, head coach Jim Caldwell gave his players kudos on making it tough on his coaching staff and the front office as it relates to the 22 roster cuts that have to be made by 4 p.m. Saturday.
"We are going to have to let go of a lot of good football players, let me put it that way," Caldwell told reporters afterward.
That's certainly a good problem to have for Detroit, and it was one of the main objectives when Bob Quinn took over as general manager in January. He wanted to build the depth of this football team, and having difficult cuts to get down to an initial 53 players is proof the roster is heading in the right direction.
"All around the team at every position there's a lot of competition, which is what they want to create," said rookie receiver Jace Billingsley, who is competing for one of the finals spots at receiver.
"They've been successful in doing that. Fourth preseason game, it's not meaningless for a lot of people, so just go out there and compete and give it all we got."
A couple starters – linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive end Devin Taylor – received some playing time vs. the Bills.
"There were some guys we wanted to work them in a particular role knowing that there's going to be something that we just wanted to make certain that they were sharp on," Caldwell said.
"Van Noy did a nice job in there. He did a good job in terms of setting everything in terms of the defense, making some plays out there. So did DT (Taylor)."
Van Noy, who is expected to start at SAM linebacker, finished with a couple tackles. Taylor, the starting defensive end opposite Ziggy Ansah, was credited with a quarterback hit.
It appears all good for the Lions on this front.
Most of the starters were held out of the game, but it didn't appear the Lions suffered any major injuries to any of their reserves in the game either. Now it's on to the real thing Sept. 11 in Indianapolis.