It was certainly good news on cut day last week when the Detroit Lions included veteran cornerback Emmanuel Moseley on the 53-man roster and did not place him on the PUP list to start the season. Moseley had been on PUP all of training camp as he continued to rehab a knee injury suffered last season.
It's unclear if Moseley will have enough practice time in to play Thursday in Kansas City. He was listed as a limited participant on Monday's practice report. If he's inactive Thursday, Week 2 vs. Seattle could certainly be in play.
However it plays out, Moseley said it's great to be back on the practice field and he's feeling good.
"To be honest, I feel like my old self, man, which is a credit to the training room," he told detroitlions.com Monday. "They did a really good job ... training room, weight room, dietitians. They did a great job of keeping me up so when I got back out there, I felt like my old self."
"I'm just excited to be back out there," Moseley said. "I like the defense, man. What I like about the defense is everyone is hungry. The aggressiveness in the defense. I like our DB group to the linebacking group to the D-line. And people are not satisfied with just being good. We want to be great."
BUGGS ON HIS ROLE
After some cryptic social media posts over the weekend about his situation changing, veteran defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs explained himself in the locker room Monday after practice. After seeing his role with the first-team defense decrease some toward the end of training camp, Buggs said coaches have informed him he'll be inactive Thursday night vs. Kansas City.
"As of right now they told me I was not going to play," Buggs said. "So, that's what we've got, and I'll be straight forward with it. But they were straight forward with me about it and as of right now I won't be playing."
Buggs, who was re-signed to a two-year extension this offseason after playing over 700 snaps along the interior of Detroit's defensive front last year, said he's determined to put his head down, go to work and earn back a role on gameday.
TRYING TO STUMP THE ROOK
We got a chance to talk to Lions quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell on Monday and got an update on the progress rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker is making in his injury recovery and his assimilation into the NFL.
"I've been trying to stump Hendon. Every day I ask him a couple questions and it's making me mad because he's getting the answer right every time," Brunell said Monday. "One of these days I'm going to get him.
"He's doing very well. He's putting the time in. Of course, he has his rehab and he's working with the trainers and everybody, but in our room, he's been incredible. Really pleased with his progress as far as our offense. He's been sharp."
Hooker remains on the NFI list as he rehabs a torn ACL and meniscus suffered last November while playing at Tennessee. He looked to be moving well in his workout sessions after practice in training camp and seems to be picking it up in the classroom too. There could be a point sometime this season where the Lions see him joining the active roster as the third quarterback behind Jared Goff and Teddy Bridgewater.
I thought defensive backs coach Brian Duker had a great line to describe what the addition of veteran defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson has meant to Detroit's defense since coming over in free agency this offseason.
"The No. 1 thing that C.J. brings is energy," Duker said. "He is to me the battery for the whole defense that's out there. Really for the whole team. He probably leads the team in energy every day at practice and that's a very valuable thing that he brings."
Whether it's being vocal about getting guys in the right spots in the secondary or hyping his defensive teammates, Gardner-Johnson brings an infectious energy to Detroit's defense, and it will be fun to see how it translates to Thursday night against the best quarterback in the league in Patrick Mahomes and the No. 1 passing offense.
Brunell was asked Monday what he's seen from Detroit's revamped secondary from his vantage point and said the improvements Detroit's made in the secondary have forced Goff and the offense to be more dialed in than they've had to be in previous training camps. The ball has to be on time, and it has to be accurate.
"In this training camp if it wasn't then it wasn't going to be a completed pass," Brunell said. "They were always around the ball. I'm excited to watch them play."