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NOTEBOOK: Lions DB Saivion Smith being evaluated for a neck injury

FOXBOROUGH – It was a scary moment early Sunday for Detroit Lions defensive back Saivion Smith.

Making his first start at safety for the Lions and just his second career start, the third-year pro was injured on the second defensive play of the game while trying to jam Patriots tight end Hunter Henry.

Smith and Henry looked to hit helmets, and Smith fell awkwardly and lay motionless on the ground as medical personnel rushed to his side. He was quickly placed on a stabilizing backboard as the entire Lions team surrounded him for support.

An ambulance came onto the field to take Smith to a local hospital for evaluation. Smith's father came out of the stands and onto the field to accompany his son in the ambulance to the hospital.

The Lions did confirm later in the game that Smith demonstrated movement in his extremities and was still being evaluated for a neck injury. Campbell said after the game that Smith was doing well enough the team was going to try and get him back on the team plane for the trip back to Detroit.

"Always scary," quarterback Jared Goff said of seeing a teammate driven off the field in an ambulance. "Good to know he's doing better."

Detroit's secondary was shorthanded after Smith left the game, and with injuries suffered in the contest to cornerback Will Harris (hamstring) and safety Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle).


Goff threw an interception at the New England 3-yard line on Detroit's second possession of the game.

Later in the second quarter, he fumbled on a 4th and 9 play that was scooped up and returned 59 yards for a touchdown that gave the Patriots a 13-0 lead.

It was the third turnover this season for Goff that's resulted in a defensive touchdown: Two pick sixes and Sunday's fumble return.

"Yeah, I mean, always costly to turn the ball over any time," Goff said after the game. "But whenever it results in a six, it's even more costly. But yeah, I mean, I wish I would have, you know, been a little more careful there. But trying to extend the play on fourth. And, yeah, unfortunate."

That's one area in particular Goff has to clean up moving forward.


The Lions signed veteran kicker Michael Badgley this week to handle kicking duties. It's the team's third kicker in three weeks. Badgley is an 81 percent career field goal kicker with a long of 59 yards. He was 4-for-4 kicking last week with the Bears.

But the Lions didn't have confidence in Badgley kicking a 50-yarder on the fourth-down play Goff fumbled.

"Yeah, I had a yard marker," Campbell said of his decision to go for it on 4th and 9 instead of attempting the field goal. "I knew that we needed to get inside of to feel good about it, you know, to swing away. Otherwise, take your chances with the offense."


The bye week couldn't come at more perfect time for Campbell and the Lions as Campbell plans a deep dive into the entire operation that's led to Detroit's 1-4 start.

"I mean, I'm going to look at everything; at the way we practice, the way we go about it," Campbell said. "You know, do we need to practice longer? Do we need to practice less? Do we put on pads? Do we not put – you know, and those are all things that I'll be looking at over the next week."

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