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NOTEBOOK: Slay leaves game with hamstring injury

Already without starting linebacker DeAndre Levy and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, Detroit's defense suffered another potentially significant blow on the injury front Sunday in their 20-17 win over Washington.

Cornerback Darius Slay went down midway through the second quarter clutching his right hamstring.

Slay went down about 30 yards down the field away from the action during a 2nd down play by the Redskins' offense.

Slay was down for a bit then limped off the field. He was checked by trainers on the sideline, and then went to the locker room. He emerged on the sidelines in the second half in street clothes.

One of the best cover cornerbacks in the NFL, any extended time he misses will be a big blow for the Lions' secondary. Slay entered the game ranked second among all cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus, allowing a completion percentage of 55.0 and a passer rating of 82.7 when targeted so far this season.

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell didn't have any updates on Slay's condition after the game.

Veteran Johnson Bademosi filled in for Slay in the second half to mixed results.

"They weren't perfect, obviously, but I think they did some nice things, did some good things," Caldwell said of Slay's replacements.

"Then there are obviously going to be a lot of things that we can correct as well."


The Lions aren't at a point where they expect defenses to place a spy on quarterback Matthew Stafford just yet, but his ability to make plays with his legs continues to be an added dimension to this offense in 2016.

Stafford had a couple big runs on Sunday, including a 14-yard scramble on the game-winning drive, and finished with 32 rushing yards on just two carries. Of the 10 biggest plays for the Lions vs. the Redskins, two were Stafford runs (18 & 14).

"I think it's oftentimes a bit underestimated," Caldwell said. "People, I think, they're getting a sense of it. He hasn't gotten to the point where they're putting a spy on him yet, but nevertheless he's dangerous in those situations.

"He does a great job of reading coverage when they have their back to him, and running around in man-to-man he wiggles and finds seams. Once he takes off he can cover some ground, he's not a 5.2 in the 40 quarterback. He can chew up some ground, and he did a great job for us."

Stafford had a career-high 159 rushing yards in 16 games last season. He has 126 yards through seven games this season, which is second on the team behind Theo Riddick (171).


Lions receiver Andre Roberts had a drop in the second quarter on a deep ball thrown by Stafford that would have been a big gain on a drive that eventually ended in a Matt Prater field goal.

Given an opportunity to redeem himself late in the fourth quarter, Roberts did just that, with a terrific 20-yard, leaping reception on the final drive that helped set up the game-winning touchdown.

"Huge, you know, and particularly after you have a similar ball thrown earlier, not quite the same elevation on it, but it was fairly high and he didn't come down with it, but to come back and you know, fortunately he had a second chance to do it and he measured up," Caldwell said of Roberts' late play. "He did a nice job."

It certainly had to be rewarding for Roberts, who was released by the Redskins earlier this year after spending the last two seasons in Washington.


Stafford said after the game that he thought he threw two interceptions on the final drive. First on the high throw to Roberts, which Roberts caught, and then on the game-winning 18-yard touchdown pass Stafford fit into a small window to Boldin.

"I cut it loose and kind of thought to myself, 'we're either going to win the game or lose the game on this one," Stafford said of the Boldin throw.

"It was a tight window. I'll take that every time. I mean, I throw an interception right there, it's on my back, I'm fine with it. Being aggressive, trying to score, Anquan ran a great route. Obviously, caught the ball and got in, just a really nice play."

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