Having missed most of 2015 due to his hip injury, DeAndre Levy has admittedly been a bit “rusty” this year, after making four tackles in his only played game of the season, which was a 1st Week win on the Indianapolis Colts.
And while Levy’s has been delayed a further 9 weeks thanks to an injury in the knee, both his defensive coordinator and his head coach have insisted that they are very confident that the best linebacker of the Lions won’t take a very long time to get back to his Pro-Bowl shape, something that is bound to alter the NFL spread.
Detroit Lions upgrade DeAndre Levy to questionable for Vikings game https://t.co/rEoJb7e2xA
— MLive (@MLive) November 24, 2016
Teryl Austin, Lions defensive coordinator said that while Levy is currently still in rehab, trying to get accustomed to regular practice, he is of the opinion that once he comes back, he will still be the firebrand player he used to be and that they expect no less from him once he makes his much-awaited return.
“He’s still in the rehab protocol part of it, trying to get himself acclimated out to practice,” defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said. “But obviously, I think, when he comes back, we plan on him being the old DeAndre Levy. So whenever that time is, when he does get on the field, we don’t expect anything less from him.”
Though never making Pro Bowl, DeAndre Levy has been greatly regarded as a truly great outside 4-3 linebackers of the NFL in its 2013-14 editions.
After tying in at second place with 6 interceptions in 2013, Levy went on to lead the Lions, scoring a career-high 151 tackles.
Sadly, his dream run did not survive that long, as Levy sustained a hip injury and a couple of other minor injuries merely weeks after he signed his 4-year contract extension worth 33.8-million.
After going through surgery to repair the torn labrum in October last year, not only did Levy hurt his knee during the summer, he went on to re-injure it while playing against the Colts.
Having been limited practice on Wednesday – the first time the 9th of September, Levy was once again seen on the field today, albeit with a blue brace protecting his right knee.
Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell says that everything that has been going on with Levy in rehab is indeed a positive sign that he is progressing, and that they would be delighted to have him back once he is ready.
“It’s a sign of progress, in terms of where he is, just in terms of his rehabilitation and those kinds of things,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said before practice. “We’d be happy to get him back whenever he’s back.”
Austin further added that the top priority here is to see his physical condition and whether he is actually passing every level according to protocol – the reason why it is rather futile to put a timetable. He says that that’s a decision the medical staff has to make.
It is expected that Levy will eventually get back his position as a weak-side linebacker, with his return being a great addition to a struggling unit.
As of now, the Lions stand at the 23rd place terms of total defense, having given up 10 league-high touchdowns this year.
Being very positive about Levy, Caldwell emphasized that he was after all was among the NFL’s most talented coverage linebackers and won’t take a very long time to get back into the groove.