Lions hopeful Cliff Avril can play this week


Most of the attention paid to concussions this week has had to do with the injuries suffered by quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Alex Smith and Michael Vick.

They weren’t the only players to suffer head injuries in Week 10, though. Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, who has 4.5 sacks this season, also wound up with a concussion during the Lions’ loss to the Vikings. While he still needs to go through the league-mandated tests before he’s cleared to return to the lineup, the team is hopeful that Avril’s condition after the game is a sign that he’ll be able to play against the Packers.

“He was much improved after the game, probably more so than a lot of the other concussions that we’ve had,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “He’ll have to go through a protocol to return. But he presented different at the end of the game than some other guys have.”

We’ll get a better idea of how Avril has progressed when the Lions release their first injury report of the week on Monday. He won’t be the only member of the defense to watch closely this week.

Safety Louis Delmas is off of crutches after missing the last two games with a knee injury and the team is also monitoring the conditions of cornerback Chris Houston, safety Amari Spievey and defensive tackle Corey Williams. With the Packers offense finding its stride in the weeks before the bye, Detroit will likely need all the healthy defensive bodies they can rustle up for this week’s game.