NOTEBOOK: Diggs practices with black cast on left hand

Defensive back Quandre Diggs left last week's loss in Dallas with a hand injury early in the second half and did not return.

There were naturally going to be questions in the days following Detroit's loss in Dallas whether or not Diggs would be available for a critical matchup this week against division foe Green Bay and All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers. 

But during Wednesday's open portion of Lions practice, Diggs was out there with a black cast over his left hand, form tackling the heavy bags and even catching some footballs. The Lions officially listed him as a limited participant. 

We'll have to wait and see how the Lions decide to list his availability for Sunday on Friday's injury report, but it certainly seems like a good sign he was out at practice Wednesday and taking part. 

"Q is one heck of a player," defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni said this week. "He's a very aware player. He's played football, he has a lot of instinctive ability, he recognizes things. He has excellent vision, which I think is important at the safety position, as it is at the linebacker position, as it is at the running back position.

"So, he's one of those guys with real good peripheral vision. He sees things, he feels things, he has good reactionary quickness, he's instinctive. He is playing good, steady football right now and is a good communicator, which really, really helps everybody on the defense."

For all those reasons, the Lions would certainly love to have the services of Diggs on Sunday.

Diggs is third on the team with 16 tackles and also has an interception, touchdown and four defended passes. Opposing quarterbacks have just a 63.5 passer rating when throwing into his coverage through four games.

LEARNING ON THE FLY

Jamal Agnew played just 69 total snaps on defense last season as a rookie, and 57 of those came Week 17 after the Lions had already been eliminated from playoff contention.

Through four games this season, the second-year cornerback has already played 106 snaps on defense in the slot.

Last week Agnew had a particularly tough task of trying to slow down talented Cowboys slot receiver Cole Beasley. Dallas threw at Agnew eight times in the game and completed six for 93 yards, per PFF statistics. Beasley caught four of those for 53 yards.

"I think I got to be a little better," Agnew said Monday. "Some technique things some fundamental things I have to work on.

"That's what I love, you know? Going out there, making mistakes, that's going to happen, Cole Beasley has been in the league for six or seven years doing it. Then to get the opportunity to come back out here see where I need to get better and get better at those things."

Agnew said overcoming those challenges is the fun part for him.

He'll have another challenge Sunday in Packers talented slot receiver Randall Cobb.

"He's been doing it a little longer than Cole (Beasley)," Agnew said of Cobb. "I have my work cut out for me."

RODGERS' NEW WEAPON

One of the key acquisitions for the Packers this offseason was tight end Jimmy Graham. The nine-year veteran is just shy of 7,000 career receiving yards and has 70 touchdowns.

Graham (6-7, 265) scored his first touchdown as a Packer last week, and had 11 catches for 140 yards combined in Weeks 2 and 3. He and Rodgers seem to be quickly getting on the same page. 

"He is a real hard guy to play against," Patricia said of Graham. "He's big, he's long, he has a huge catch radius. He's obviously a go-to player in critical situations. There's a lot of points on tape or on film where we study him where he may be covered but the placement of the ball just really uncovers him, and he's allowed to make those completions or those catches.

"And certainly, in the red area that becomes an even bigger threat for us. He's a big guy. He can also line up on the edge and block and put himself in position to capture the edge. Definitely a guy who is a dangerous weapon to have offensively."

The Lions have been pretty good limiting tight ends this season. They've allowed an average of just four receptions and 42 yards per game from tight ends, with two total touchdowns in four games.

Meet this weeks opponent, the Green Bay Packers.

ANSAH BACK AT PRACTICE

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah hasn't played for the Lions since injuring his shoulder in the second quarter of the Week 1 loss to the Jets.

After practicing on a limited basis before the Week 2 and 3 games against San Francisco and New England, but still not playing in those contests, Ansah didn't practice at all last week, and missed his third straight game. 

Ansah was back on the practice field in the open portion of practice Wednesday.

Detroit has missed him upfront along their defensive line, especially against the run, where they currently rank last in the NFL in run defense. His ability to set the edge and play the run is one of Ansah's best attributes. 

Ansah being back at practice Wednesday is a first step at getting back on the field on gameday. We'll have to monitor his practice listing this week and his game designation on Friday.

Related Content

Advertising