Lions Training Camp Comes To A Close For 2011

The Detroit Lions held their final practice of this year's training camp on Thursday.

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Lions Training Camp Wraps Up For 2011

The Detroit Lions held their final practice of training camp for 2011 on Thursday. The team will return to the practice field next week to get ready for their final preseason game, and after that they will start practicing to get ready for the regular season. Technically training camp is now over, though.

On the final day of camp the Lions got wide receiver Calvin Johnson back. He had missed a couple days earlier in the week because of a shoulder injury, but he was back on Thursday.

The same can't be said for defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. He was out again due to a shoulder injury. He hasn't practiced all week and won't be playing against the New England Patriots on Saturday as a result.

Running back Jahvid Best also likely won't play on Saturday despite practicing for the second day in a row. The Lions don't want to rush him back into a preseason game just a week after suffering a concussion, but he was able to practice since there was no contact.

Wide receiver Titus Young is looking more and more likely to play after practicing again on Thursday.

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Lions Training Camp: Jeff Backus Makes 2011 Practice Debut

For the first time all training camp, Detroit Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus practiced with his teammates. Backus had been on the active/non-football injury list with a pectoral injury, but he was activated on Sunday and is now back and should give a boost to the Lions' offense.

Also potentially giving a boost to the Lions' offense is wide receiver Titus Young. He also returned to practice on Sunday, although he only participated in the 7-on-7 drill. After that he left practice to work on his conditioning, which Jim Schwartz says is part of the plan to get Young back on track.

Other players that returned to practice after missing some time are running back Maurice Morris, wide receiver Demario Ballard, tight end Tony Scheffler and cornerback Chris Houston. Morris' broken hand is now recovered enough for him to practice, as is Scheffler's hand, which had stitches put into it last week. Ballard is back after dealing with a foot injury, and Houston returned after having problems with his groin. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who sat out Friday's game for precautionary reasons, practiced as well.

Four players who didn't practice on Sunday are fullback Matt Clapp, defensive tackle Corey Hilliard, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock. It's not clear what injuries, if any, these players are dealing with.

Offensive tackle Isaac Sowells also didn't practice on Sunday because he was waived/injured by the Lions. If he clears waivers the Lions can outright release him or put him on injured reserve, which is what they did with safety Randy Phillips, who was waived/injured last week.

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Lions Training Camp: Mikel Leshoure Tears Achilles, Out For Season

As soon as I published that Lions rookie running back Mikel Leshoure had been carted off the field with an apparent lower left leg injury, Detroit News beat writer Chris McCosky tweeted that Leshoure is out for the season with a torn achilles. 97.1 The Ticket tweeted that Jim Schwartz confirmed the injury.  According to SB Nation Detroit's medical experts, the injury was likely known as soon as Leshoure was tended to by team doctors on the field via the Thompson Squeeze test.

This isn't a completely devastating blow to the Lions offense, but Leshoure was having a great rookie camp en route to complementing the skilled Jahvid Best this year.

The Lions will almost certainly look to pick up another running back now that Leshoure is out for the season, so look for names like Ricky Williams, Laurence Maroney, or even former Lion Kevin Smith to pop up as potential replacements on the team's radar.  

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Lions' Nick Fairley To Miss 'Significant Portion' Of Training Camp After Having Surgery

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley not only visited a specialist in North Carolina on Wednesday, but he actually had surgery while there. The surgery, which was reportedly done to fix a foot fracture, will force Fairley to miss most or all of training camp.

Below is the statement the Lions released about this news.

"The examination of Nick Fairley's foot today by Dr. Bob Anderson resulted in a diagnosis consistent with that of Lions’ team physicians that surgical correction was required. Accordingly, surgery was successfully performed this afternoon in Charlotte, N.C., by Dr. Anderson. Nick is expected to miss a significant portion of training camp."

Obviously it's never good news for a first-round pick to have surgery to repair an injured foot just days into training camp, but the hope is Fairley will be ready to go when the regular season rolls around. This injury may slow his growth as an NFL player down, but the key thing is for him to not miss any regular season games. Based on the Lions' statement, it doesn't sound like they are expecting him to be out for anything beyond training camp and the preseason, which is a much better timetable for recovery than some were anticipating.

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