It didn’t look good for veteran wide receiver Jermaine Kearse Thursday night after Patriots defensive back Terrence Brooks fell into the back of his left leg on the fifth play of the game for the Lions' offense in their preseason opener vs. New England.
Kearse was in obvious pain as he lay on the turf and the doctors and trainers who attended to him immediately put an air cast on his left leg before he was carted off the field.
“Couple guys got hurt out there today, so that was not a good situation to be in,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia said of Kearse, backup quarterback Tom Savage and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo all leaving the game due to injury. “We’re in the evaluation process with those guys and trying to find out exactly what the status is.”
Kearse was having a terrific start to his training camp and had emerged as an early favorite to earn a role on offense as the No. 4 receiver behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola.
The injury potentially takes away a veteran receiver and someone who was familiar with coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense. It’s a blow to Detroit’s depth at the position.
The Lions will now need players like Brandon Powell, Andy Jones, Chris Lacy, Travis Fulgham and others to step up the competition in camp and fill the void left by Kearse’s injury.
View photos from the Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots Preseason Week 1 game at Ford Field on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 in Detroit.
Because of the rehab that’s still taking place after having a procedure on his lower leg before the start of camp, Patricia watched Thursday’s game from a perched position behind the Lions’ bench.
He’s been getting around Allen Park on a knee scooter and at practice on an ATV. Obviously, for safety reasons, neither can be on an NFL sideline.
As the head coach, Patricia wants to be on the field with the players, and that was the best situation to keep both he and the players safe.
“I thought the location was actually OK,” Patricia said after the game. “I don’t know if there’s any place I can be, I mean I can’t be closer. It felt at least I was in the middle of the action, not to one side or the other.”
The Lions have 90 players on the roster right now and they’re all getting used to substitution patterns and rotations. Patricia thinks it’s important to to be down in the middle of it, so we can probably expect that to continue throughout the preseason.
Former University of Michigan star Chase Winovich returned to Michigan this week as a member of the Patriots. The rookie had a good professional debut against the Lions by recording 1.5 sacks and three total tackles.
There were certainly a number of Michigan fans in the crowd that remembered Winovich’s contributions over the last few years. Even in hostile territory, Winovich got a good number of cheers from the Ford Field crowd after notching his first sack.