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Camp Notes: Rookie Chase Lucas finds redemption with INT in practice

Rookie cornerback Chase Lucas has watched his dropped interception and relived the moment in his mind every day since Friday's preseason opening loss to Atlanta.

It was a late fourth-quarter play where Lucas read the eyes of Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder and stepped in front of a short pass intended for wide receiver Tyshaun James, but couldn't hang on to the ball. It was likely going to be pick-six for Lucas if he hung on to it, and could have won the game for the Lions, going up 10 with under two minutes to play.

Lucas made another nice play to knock a ball away on the next play, but then Ridder threw the game-winning touchdown on fourth down just two plays after the dropped interception.

"My best friends called me on my phone like, 'Man, you're dropping money on the ground. You don't like money? You don't want to get paid?'

"I'm not going to lie to you, man, after that game I was beating myself up bad. I'm just a perfectionist and a competitor. It's going to keep beating me up until I get my first pick in the NFL."

Not that it lessens the blow of that dropped pick Friday night, but Lucas did end practice Monday with terrific leaping interception in the end zone to thwart a late scoring drive attempt by the second-team offense.

"Listen, he's a tough, pretty smart, pretty aware, high energy type player and he did, he got out there and mixed it up," head coach Dan Campbell said of Lucas' preseason debut. "I think with Lucas, he needs to be in the program a little bit and what I mean by that – just a little more bulk and strength to him which will come in time.

"I know he was sick to his stomach he didn't catch that pick, that would've sealed it. But yet, he did everything he was supposed to do to that point ... we just got to finish it."

Lucas, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds, played seven snaps late in Friday's game. He's competing for a backup spot at cornerback. He needs to continue to bulk up and to keep making plays like the one he did Monday, to help himself stand out the remaining three weeks of camp.


Head coach Dan Campbell gave the media injury updates Monday morning on fullback Jason Cabinda (ankle) and defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike (back/hip). Campbell said there's a chance Cabinda isn't ready for the start of the regular season.

"It's tough to say right now," he said of Cabinda. "It's certainly going on a little longer than we anticipated, but it's hard to say. I mean I think it's highly unlikely we see him at Pittsburgh (Week 3 of preseason), so what is that window? That's the best way to probably just say it."

If Cabinda starts the regular season on PUP, he will have to miss at least the first four games of the regular season.

Onwuzurike, who battled a back injury all of last season as well, is not making the trip to Indianapolis for joint practices this week, but Campbell said there is a chance he could return to the practice field ahead of Detroit's final preseason game against Pittsburgh Aug. 28.

"We're going to hold a number of guys back this week who we know won't be ready to practice and just continue to treat them, get them ready, and see if we can get them going for Pittsburgh next week or that week of practice," Campbell said. "I don't really have a timeline on him (Onwuzurike)."

Linebacker Julian Okwara, safety Ifeatu Melifonwu and wide receiver Josh Johnson have also missed multiple days of practice in a row now due to injury.


The team is required to reduce their 90-man roster down to 85 players by Tuesday at 4 p.m., and got a head start Monday by releasing tight end Garrett Griffin, and waiving undrafted rookie tight end Nolan Givan and third-string center Ryan McCollum.

The team needs to make two more roster moves by Tuesday's deadline to get down to 85.

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