Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 6/11/13
ALLEN PARK, Mich. Louis Delmas, the Detroit Lions injury-prone safety, made his first off-season appearance at practice Tuesday morning. It was the start of a three-day mandatory minicamp, but Delmas wasnt able to participate because of ongoing knee problems. He also wasnt in much of a mood to talk about his status. I dont know what to tell you, Delmas said, walking off the field. Ive been hurt. Asked how hes progressing, Delmas said, sarcastically, Its great. It feels like just how it was last year. As for what he did during practice, Delmas answered, Stood there and coached my team. And then, after being asked what hes able to do physically right now, Delmas ended the brief exchange with one final request to reporters: Can you leave me alone? Seriously? Delmas didnt attend the Lions voluntary workouts in previous weeks. He apparently was back home in Florida rehabbing. Last August, Delmas had to undergo surgery during training camp for tendinitis in his left knee. He missed the first four games of the season, played in three, missed three, played in two, missed one and played in the final three. In the end: eight games played, eight games missed. That came after missing the final five games of the 2011 regular season because of a torn ligament in his right knee before returning for a playoff game. The fact hes still dealing with these issues now, more than five months after his last game, doesnt mean he wont be ready for the Sept. 8 opener or even the start of training camp in late July. But it's not a good sign. Patience is a very difficult thing when youre a player, but patience is the thing he has to do right now, coach Jim Schwartz said. He has to be patient enough to work through that and give it enough time to heal. Hell be back on the field for us sometime, but its not going to be this minicamp. Nevertheless, there has to be a heightened level of concern that Delmas isnt ready to take part even in these non-contact drills in shorts. The Lions protected themselves by only giving Delmas an incentive-laden contract when he became a free agent and was re-signed during the off-season. Some observers are starting to wonder whether Delmas can be counted on for the upcoming season because of the bum knees. We have a long way to go to worry about stuff like that, Schwartz said. Now is not the time to. Louis is a very tough player. If he can be on the field, hell be on the field. Don Carey, who made a solid contribution last season and is entering his fifth year in the NFL, will fill Delmas role until further notice. SMOOTH KICKALICIOUS Youtube sensation Havard Rugland, a.k.a. Kickalicious, has been making a good early impression. Veteran David Akers certainly remains the Lions No. 1 kicker, but Rugland, a Norwegian soccer player, might have a future in the NFL after all. Rugland, whose kicking fundamentals have needed considerable improvement, was pounding 48- and 50-yard field goals during a special-teams portion of practice. And he did it all so effortlessly. Hes got plenty of leg strength, Schwartz said. Theres a lot of golfers that have that. The Ernie Els, Fred Couples, who just never swing hard. Youve got to have enough strength to do that. He does. Hes done a nice job working through all the different things that are new to him. Thats encouraging to see. LEARNING ON JOB A week ago, Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. said of Schwartz, I think Jim will be the first to admit that there have been times hes learned on the job ... Schwartzs response Tuesday: I accept that. Everybody learns on the job, he said. If youre building cars on the line down the street, youre selling insurance, youre coaching, youre a player, youre going to learn. Youre going to be better the second time you experience something, you go through something.
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