NFC North: Shaun Chapas

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- For the first time since last month, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson participated in a Tuesday practice.

Johnson also looked fine going through basic individual drills.

He wasn't the only major player there. Running back Joique Bell, who injured a rib in the fourth quarter Sunday, was at practice and didn't appear to have any extra protective padding on his chest.

Cornerback Rashean Mathis, who injured his groin Sunday, was also out there practicing. So was running back Montell Owens, who is now allowed to practice after being placed on injured reserve/designated to return before the season.

Running back Theo Riddick was also at practice, but with a winter beanie on his head instead of a helmet, he was not actually practicing. Other Lions not practicing were tight end Tony Scheffler (concussion), right tackle Jason Fox (knee), safety Louis Delmas (knee) and wide receiver Nate Burleson (forearm).

One other note -- the Lions brought wide receiver Patrick Edwards back to their practice squad and released running back Shaun Chapas. For the time being, Detroit now has three receivers on its practice squad.
The Detroit Lions have assembled their full practice squad, and all eight members are players the team waived Saturday.

They include three former draft choices: receiver Corey Fuller, cornerback Chris Greenwood and linebacker Brandon Hepburn. Also among the group: running back/kick returner Steven Miller, fullback Shaun Chapas, offensive lineman Rodney Austin, and defensive tackles Jimmy Saddler-McQueen and Xavier Proctor.

The two most prized possessions of that group are probably Greenwood and Miller.

The Lions couldn't justify a roster spot for Greenwood, who missed all of last season and a good portion of training camp this summer because of injuries, but he is as physically gifted as any defensive back on their roster. Miller, meanwhile, made a big push to win the returner job that presumably has gone to veteran newcomer Micheal Spurlock.

Note: The Lions claimed former Washington Redskins safety DeJon Gomes on waivers, according to multiple reports. That means a corresponding move will have to take place at some point Sunday to create a spot on the roster.

Detroit Lions cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
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Most significant move: There were no surprises for the Detroit Lions and, really, there were few big decisions. We noted earlier that the team decided to preserve a roster spot for No. 3 quarterback Kellen Moore, so the most significant move they did make was placing rookie tight end Michael Williams on injured reserve. The Lions had substantial plans for Williams this season as the third tight end in the jumbo package that lineman Riley Reiff filled last season. They also hoped to develop his receiving skills as veterans Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler enter contract years. Williams had surgery last week to repair a hand injury, and though coach Jim Schwartz said the team had no long-term injuries, Williams is in fact lost for the season. (NFL teams can't start placing players on short-term injured reserve until next week.) As a result, rookie Joseph Fauria -- a much better receiver but less of a blocker than Williams -- is on the 53-man roster with Pettigrew and Scheffler.

The dominoes: The Lions apparently chose veteran Michael Spurlock as their kick returner, necessitating the release of rookie Steven Miller, who could return on the practice squad. Spurlock is also a receiver, and for the now he is one of six on the roster, presumably because of Ryan Broyles' sore knees. The release of veteran Matt Willis means Kris Durham is the sixth receiver. You wonder if the Lions would change directions soon in that regard. The Lions sifted through their big group of veteran defensive backups by tapping Rashean Mathis as a swing cornerback/safety and Rocky McIntosh as a backup linebacker while releasing the rest. John Wendling and Don Carey are the backup safeties for now.

What's next: According to multiple reports, the Lions will place running back Montell Owens on short-term injured reserve. That can't happen until next week, so for now he is part of the 53-man roster. He must miss at least six weeks of the regular season. You would think the Lions will bring back a number of the players they cut Saturday for their practice squad, and it's worth remembering that they are No. 5 in priority for NFL waiver claims. Sunday could be a busy day.

List of players cut: WR: Corey Fuller, Matt Willis. RB: Steven Miller, Shaun Chapas. OL: Rodney Austin, Kevin Haslam, Darren Keyton, Jake Scott. DL: Andre Fluellen, Ogemdi Nwagbuo, Xavier Proctor, Jimmy Sadler-McQueen. LB: Brandon Hepburn, Jon Morgan (waived/injured) Chris White. CB: Ron Bartell, Chris Greenwood. S: Amari Spievey, Tyrell Johnson, Martavius Neloms (waived/injured) P: Blake Clingan.

NFC North Friday injury report

December, 14, 2012
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Let's get inside Friday's NFC North injury report:

Chicago Bears: As expected, the Bears ruled out linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring), cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder) and receiver Earl Bennett (concussion) from Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. The Bears could also be short along the defensive line because Henry Melton (chest) and Shea McClellin (knee) are both listed as doubtful while Matt Toeaina (knee) is questionable. Neither Melton nor McClellin practiced this week. Meanwhile, linebacker Geno Hayes (knee) and running back Michael Bush (ribs) are questionable. The Bears would probably use Blake Costanzo at strong-side linebacker if Hayes can't play.

Detroit Lions: Two key players appear unlikely to be available for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) and defensive lineman Nick Fairley (shoulder) both missed practice all week and are listed as doubtful. The Lions could promote tight end Shaun Chapas from the practice squad to provide depth Sunday. Meanwhile, safety Louis Delmas (knee) is questionable for the game.

Green Bay Packers: Linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) appears on track to return to the lineup. That's the good news. The Packers did, however, rule out four players from Sunday's game: Receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring), running back James Starks (knee), defensive end C.J. Wilson (knee) and defensive back Charles Woodson (collarbone). Right guard Josh Sitton was added to the injury report because of a hip injury that flared up Thursday and prevented him from practicing Friday. He is listed as questionable, but the Packers are holding out hope he will play Sunday. Fellow guard T.J. Lang (ankle) is listed as probable for the game.

Minnesota Vikings: All players are at least probable for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams except for cornerback Antoine Winfield, who sat out practice all week because of a knee injury. Coach Leslie Frazier, however, told reporters he thought Winfield would be ready to play.

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