Sunday was not a good day for the Lions, but it doesn’t sound like they will need to add a serious injury to defensive end Cliff Avril’s back to the list of things to feel bad about in the wake of their 20-13 loss to the Vikings.
Avril left the game in the fourth quarter after picking up an injury while chasing Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder. Avril did not return and went for an MRI on the back Monday to determine whether or not he’d suffered any severe damage.
According to a report from Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com, Avril dodged a bullet. LaCanfora reports that “nothing serious” showed up on the scan and called the news a “big relief” for the Lions. We may get a little more insight from Lions coach Jim Schwartz when he meets with the media on Monday afternoon, but Schwartz hasn’t really been a particularly forthcoming source of information about injuries since he ascended to the top job in Detroit. If that continues, we’ll have to keep an eye on practice and injury reports once the Lions get back to work on Wednesday.
Avril is playing this year under the franchise tag, so avoiding serious injury is as important for his quest for a long-term deal at the end of the season as it for the Lions’ chances of improving on their 1-3 start to the season. Avril has 1.5 sacks so far this year and, if all is truly well, he’ll be trying to up that total against the Eagles in Week Five.