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Monday, September 9, 2013
Slay still a starter at cornerback for Detroit

By Michael Rothstein

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Even though Detroit coach Jim Schwartz pulled rookie cornerback Darius Slay in the fourth quarter of the Lions’ 34-24 win against Minnesota on Sunday, he isn’t yanking him from the lineup.

Schwartz said Monday that Slay will remain his starter.

“Slay’s still our starter there,” Schwartz said Monday. “It was more of a call to the bullpen. He had given up a play in front and a play behind, and it looked like they were getting ready to start picking on him.

“Like I said (Sunday), the biggest thing there is we didn’t want him to start playing conservative because of the double-move play that he had given up over the top. You just need to put that fire out, and what better person to put a fire out than a very experienced player like Rashean Mathis, who came in and did a good job in the fourth quarter.”

Schwartz said he liked some of what he saw from Slay, a rookie from Mississippi State, in his first NFL regular-season game. He had four tackles against the Vikings.

Slay played in 31 of Detroit’s 55 defensive snaps Sunday, the only starting defensive back to not play all 55 plays. Mathis, who replaced him, played 20 snaps.

“We still have a lot of confidence in Slay, made a couple nice plays in the game,” Schwartz said. “Was a really good experience for him. We saw him in the preseason get better each step along the way.

“Regular season, he found out, is a completely different thing.”

NOTE: Schwartz said they were waiting on more information regarding the injuries to right tackle Jason Fox and defensive back Don Carey. He described both injuries -- Fox’s injury was announced as a groin injury Sunday -- as “soft-tissue type things.”