After sitting out for the first six weeks of the season with a knee injury, Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas finally stepped back on to the practice field today. He has not been cleared to play yet, but being back on the field is at least a step in the right direction. He hadn’t been back since he underwent surgery on August 7th to repair damage to the area around his knee.
The injury originally happened in December of 2011 and was starting to heal with rehab in the offseason. Fast forward to the summer and a few weeks of training camp, then tendinitis flared up and made practicing painful. Doctors looked at it and suggested surgery to clean it up, so under the knife he went. The procedure was only expected to keep him out of the first regular season game, maybe two.
But then another week went by and no Delmas on the field. He wasn’t even partially practicing with the team during the week. Then another week went by and there wasn’t any update on Delmas and his knee. It was particularly frustrating because the defense could really have used his help on the field.
Delmas still hadn’t practiced and wasn’t dressed for week 4. “What is going on with his knee?” Fans began asking more and more on forums and in blogs. “Did he hurt it more than what coaches said, because surely an expected month absence wouldn’t turn in to two without reason.” Fans just accepted it as the “Lion’s Luck” and watched a struggling defensive line and secondary struggle through another game without him.
Until some curious onlookers pointed out his antics DURING the game against the Minnesota Vikings. Delmas couldn’t practice and couldn’t dress, but boy oh boy could he sure dance and jump in frustration on the sidelines with his teammates! Whoa. A few blog posts, Twitter comments and speculation over the past three days, and now suddenly Delmas is dressed and practicing in the bye week. That’s good news!
Coaches say he will keep practicing on a limited basis until he is cleared. The day for clearance is tomorrow. Thursday. Delmas will have his knee evaluated to see how it will handle under the stress of pressure and strain on the tendons. If his sideline dance of frustration is any indication of his abilities, he should be ready to rock and roll when the Lions come back from their bye week and face the Philadelphia Eagles in week 6. If he is not cleared, prepare for some more fan backlash – unless the rest of the defense snaps together and plays perfectly well without him. Then he can dance all he likes on the sidelines.