|Film Breakdown Of Ndamukong Suh||Film Breakdown Of Calvin Johnson|
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Jim Schwartz – Monte Kiffin will make life tough for us
Calvin Johnson – Dez Bryant is pretty good, besides route running
Jason Garrett: Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions road game (8:09)
- Defensive challenges this season when covering TEs/RBs out of backfield
- J.J. Wilcox status
- Thoughts on the current roster at safety positions
- Jeff Heath’s evolution and potential for him to start
- Brian Waters conditioning
- DeMarco Murray evaluation over past few days
- Difficulty and challenges of back-to-back road games
- DB Jakar Hamilton standing out on practice squad
- Pressure in middle vs. pressure on the edge effects QB position
- Miles Austin physical progress this week
- Miles Austin mental state with Williams and Beasley emerging
- LB DeVonte Holloman neck injury recap and prognosis
- Morris Claiborne illness and prognosis
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HOMECOMING DEBUT: Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath returning to Lions country with a star on his helmet
IRVING, Texas – Not long after Jeff Heath signed with the Dallas Cowboys, he noticed they were actually playing this season in Detroit, which is located just 39 miles from his hometown of Lake Orion, Mich.
His first thought was how great it’d be if he were on the team and traveling to the game.
But now, it looks like Heath will be doing even better than that. Because of a sprained knee injury to rookie safety J.J. Wilcox, there is a good chance Heath will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Lions, a team whom he grew up following.
And better yet, he’ll have quite a contingent of family and friends there to see him. Heath said this week he’s in the neighborhood of 80 tickets, and that number could grow now with his possibility of starting.
“It’s just a weird coincidence if it happens this week with me going back home,” Heath said. “But you never know when it’s going to be your time and your number gets called. I’m excited about the opportunity.”
While head coach Jason Garrett wouldn’t rule out Wilcox to play, Wilcox himself said it’s unlikely he would play this week and maybe not even next week against the Vikings. Garrett did have some positive things to say about Heath, an undrafted rookie from Saginaw Valley State in Michigan.
“We certainly like him. He’s done a lot of nice things for us,” Garrett said. “He’s a college free agent who came in and said ‘I’m going to make your football team.’ He first showed up on [special] teams but he’s been a solid performer on defense.”
Garrett was asked to name his best attribute but he didn’t come up with just one.
“He has a lot of good traits. Physically, he has a lot of tools,” Garrett said of Heath. “He’s big enough to play the position. He runs well. He has good ball skills. He’s physical. He just finds a way to get away from people and gets to the football.”
Last week, the Cowboys rotated Heath into the game on defense in the first quarter. While it was perceived at first that Wilcox was getting benched, it was simply a way to rotate Heath into the game.
“I think that really helped me and my confidence,” Heath said. “I know if I start this week, I’ll be more prepared for it because of I’ve gotten to play a little more.”
In the Eagles game, Heath was credited with a tackle on defense and another on special teams. He currently has five tackles and ranks second on the team with seven special teams stops.
Last week in Philly, Heath did come out of the game with a sore right forearm, which required an MRI on Monday. He downplayed the injury, though, and said it’s nothing that would keep him out of playing this week.
“I might wear something on it but it won’t be anything major,” Heath said of a possible brace. “It’ll be more like a tight wrap.”
It sounds like it’s going to take a lot more than a bruised forearm to keep Heath out of Sunday’s game, which has a chance to be a homecoming and his first NFL start, rolled into one.
The Detroit Lions aren’t the same team without running back Reggie Bush on the field. We learned that in Week 3, when Detroit’s ground game withered up in a tight win over the Washington Redskins as Bush watched from the sideline with a left knee injury.
On Friday, an injury to Bush’s right leg kept him out of practice ahead of Sunday’s tilt with the Dallas Cowboys, the team announced.
The Detroit News described it as an upper leg tweak, and Bush was seen with the leg wrapped after not being listed on Thursday’s injury report. Also missing the session were offensive tackle Corey Hilliard (knee), safety Louis Delmas (knees) and wide receiver Nate Burleson (arm), but Bush’s absence comes out of nowhere.
We don’t expect him to miss Sunday’s game — not until we hear something more dire — but if he can’t handle a full workload, Joique Bell will be in for a busy day. Bell has shown well in limited snaps, but no one can replace Bush’s playmaking ability in Detroit. We’ll keep an eye on this one.
Editors update: The story above, as reported by the drama queens at NFL.com, implies that Reggie Bush might miss the matchup with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Here’s an update from the Detroit Free Press …
Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush sat out practice today with a right leg injury, but Bush said his absence was “precautionary” and he’ll be fine for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
“Feel good,” Bush said. “Just taking a day off, getting ready for the game on Sunday.”
Lions coach Jim Schwartz has said several times this year that it’s important for players to practice midweek and that some guys will get maintenance days on Fridays.
Safety Louis Delmas (knee), tackle Corey Hilliard (knee) and receiver Nate Burleson (arm) also missed practice for the Lions today. Hilliard and Burleson are out, while Delmas will play against the Cowboys.
Detroit Lions injury report (10-24-2013)
|Name||Position||Injury||Practice Status||Game Status|
|Louis Delmas||S||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Theo Riddick||RB||—||Full Participation in Practice||—|
|Brandon Pettigrew||TE||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Corey Hilliard||T||—||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|Rashean Mathis||CB||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Andre Fluellen||DT||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Nate Burleson||WR||—||Out (Definitely Will Not Play)||—|
|Jason Fox||T||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Ashlee Palmer||LB||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Calvin Johnson||WR||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Riley Reiff||T||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
Dallas Cowboys injury report (10-24-2013)
|Name||Position||Injury||Practice Status||Game Status|
|Lance Dunbar||RB||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|DeMarco Murray||RB||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|DeMarcus Ware||DE||—||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|Miles Austin||WR||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Nick Hayden||DT||—||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|Ronald Leary||G||—||Full Participation in Practice||—|
|DeVonte Holloman||LB||—||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|George Selvie||DE||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Dez Bryant||WR||—||Full Participation in Practice||—|
|Morris Claiborne||CB||—||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|J.J. Wilcox||S||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Jason Hatcher||DT||—||Limited Participation in Practice||—|
|Dwayne Harris||WR||—||Full Participation in Practice||—|