The Lions only had one of their four starters in the secondary in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, and had only one of their top three running backs as well. But they’re starting to get healthier.
Both starting cornerbacks, Chris Houston and Bill Bentley, were back at practice today after missing last week. Houston has been absent since spraining his ankle in the preseason, and Bentley has been absent since suffering a concussion in Week One.
However, the Lions’ best defensive back, safety Louis Delmas, is still not practicing while he recovers from a knee injury. With each passing week Delmas’s bum knee becomes a bigger concern: Although the Lions have largely downplayed the severity of his knee problems, he missed the last five games of the regular season last year, missed the entire preseason this year, has missed the first two games of this season and appears set to miss another game this week.
Also back to work for the Lions is running back Mikel Leshoure, who still hasn’t played a single game in his NFL career after he missed all of his rookie season last year with a torn Achilles and was suspended two games to start this year for two marijuana arrests. Leshoure is splitting the first-team reps with Kevin Smith in practice. Jahvid Best, who was the Lions’ starting running back when healthy last year, will be out at least another four weeks with the concussion issues that cut short his 2011 season.
Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, tight end Tony Scheffler, linebacker Travis Lewis, cornerback Drayton Florence and defensive tackle Corey Williams all sat out practice as well. The Lions have rested Johnson in practice because of a foot injury, but it does not seem to be serious.