The Lions took a calculated risk in signing defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch last offseason to a big contract. They quickly saw the upside and downside of the deal.
For most of the year, Vanden Bosch’s leadership set a tone for the unit that defined the team. He provided solid play on the outside.
On the other hand, the cumulative effect of years of hitting led to a bulging disk in his neck that forced him to miss the final five games of the year with surgery. Vanden Bosch says he should be back good as new after getting surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his spinal column.
“As bad as neck surgery sounds, the recovery was a piece of cake,” Vanden Bosch told the Detroit Free Press. “I don’t really have any lasting affects from the injury or the surgery.”
Vanden Bosch says he’s trained harder the last two months than ever in order to get back to full strength. He’s set to make $4.5 million next year.
For Detroit’s contract to truly pay off, Vanden Bosch needs to stay healthy for the entire 2011 season.