About the Author
Recent posts by Eric Edholm
INDIANAPOLIS — Lions head coach Jim Schwartz would not confirm if WR Calvin Johnson suffered three broken fingers, as has been reported.
"I am not going to comment on any of our players' health," Schwartz said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, "but that's not uncommon for a wide receiver.”
Schwartz typically is reluctant talking about injuries — especially when it’s not mandated by the league that he does.
“We don’t have any injury reports this time of year,” he deadpanned.
Johnson, however, is expected back to full health by the start of veteran OTAs and should have no limitations this offseason.
One receiver who will not be returning to the Lions’ sideline this offseason — or likely ever again — is Titus Young, who was expected to be Johnson’s running mate for many years. Instead, the Lions tired of Young’s off-field problems and released him in the offseason.
The Rams took a flier on Young but also cut him shortly afterwards. Schwartz said he and Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, his former boss in Tennessee, had no conversations about Young prior to the Rams signing him.
Schwartz said that the Lions’ misevaluation of Young’s character won’t affect how the team approaches other players with questionable backgrounds.
“Each case is individual,” Schwartz said. “We’re not going to let one guy color how we view other players going forward. It just wouldn’t be fair.”
Generally speaking, Schwartz gave few details about the Lions’ key free agents. When asked specifically about OLT Jeff Backus and PK Jason Hanson, Schwartz said the team was ready to sustain a loss or losses if that was how things worked out.
“I think we’re prepared for just about anything as far as turnover on the offensive line, or turnover anywhere,” he said. “We drafted on the offensive line last year with Reilly Reiff, a couple years ago with Jason Fox. We’ve developed those guys and if we have to plug them in, they are guys that we think a lot of.”