NEW ORLEANS – It appears Detroit's bye week has come at a pretty good time.
The Lions are banged up, and can use a couple weeks on the mend before returning to action in two weeks at home vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers (Oct. 29).
Safety Glover Quin, the heart and soul of Detroit's defense, left Sunday's game in the third quarter with a head injury. He suffered the injury attempting to tackle Saints running back Alvin Kamara. Quin laid on the field surrounded by trainers for a few minutes. When he finally got up, he was escorted straight to the Lions locker room. He never returned.
On the other side of the football, receiver Golden Tate was shaken up after taking a big hit from Saints cornerback Ken Crawley after a 7-yard catch later in the third quarter. Tate injured his shoulder on the play, and also didn't return to the contest.
Starting left tackle Greg Robinson also left in the second half with an ankle injury. He was seen carted to the locker room shortly after suffering the injury.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell didn't have an update on Quin, Tate or Robinson immediately after the game.
Lions starting right guard T.J. Lang has been battling a back injury, and had the issue flare up Sunday morning before the game, which landed him on the inactive list. His presence was missed.
The Lions are battered and a bit bruised, and need a couple weeks to try and get healthy.
Lang being inactive meant that backup tackle/guard Emmett Cleary was pressed into starting duties. But that wasn't the only shuffling the Lions were forced to do upfront Sunday.
Starting right tackle Rick Wagner was dealing with an undisclosed injury throughout the game that prevented him from playing every rep. Then the Robinson injury threw another wrench into the game plan.
When it was all said and done, every offensive lineman on the 46-man roster got some reps on offense, including Tim Lelito and Brian Mihalik.
"Yeah, it's kind of what happens in games," Caldwell said of the shuffling upfront. "Often times you can't predict it, but you have to be able to make adjustments and keep growing. That's why we have 53 men on the roster, that's why we dress 46 on game day. We got to be able to adjust."
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked five times and hit six more times. The run game averaged 3.5 yards per carry. Again, Detroit has to be more consistent upfront.
GOOD AND BAD
Sunday was a strange game.
For all the bad the Lions did in falling behind 45-10, there was also some good that came out of the 28-point comeback effort that made it a game.
Jamal Agnew recorded his second punt return touchdown of the year. The rookie looks like he has a real future there. He averaged 26.5 yards per return Sunday with a long of 74.
Defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson recorded his first career touchdown after jumping up and intercepting a Drew Brees pass in the fourth quarter and returning it two yards for a touchdown. He also chipped in seven tackles.
Both Marvin Jones Jr. and Tate recorded 96 receiving yards. Tate also scored on a terrific 45-yard catch and run.
Then there's the five Stafford turnovers, three Saints defensive touchdowns and a poor Lions defensive effort stopping the run (193 yards allowed) for most of the contest.
It was a strange game to watch.
"It was a different one for sure," Stafford said afterward. "I talked to Drew (Brees) about that after the game. He came up and said, 'That was a weird one, huh?' And yeah it was. It was crazy. We got to find a way to start a little bit faster and make that thing a little bit more competitive early on."