Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Detroit-lions-tampa-bay

When I first heard that Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas underwent knee surgery early in training camp, my stomach started churning.  To hear that one of Detroit’s best defensive players would be shut down for several weeks was disconcerting to say the least.

Delmas, while injury prone, has been one of the Lions’ most valuable players since they drafted him in 2009.  His fast-paced, hard-hitting style gives the secondary attitude, which they simply don’t have without him.

In 2011, Delmas missed five games.  In those five games, Detroit’s defense gave up 122 more total yards, 128 more passing yards, and 5.6 more points per game.

I understand that backup John Wendling has been filling in nicely for Delmas, but with Wendling in the lineup, the Lions aren’t the same.  Wendling may not make bad plays, but he won’t provide the big hits and athleticism that Delmas offers.

Delmas’ return is still uncertain, but head coach Jim Schwartz has said he remains week-to-week, not day-to-day.

Now, it seems clear that Delmas will not see action in the preseason, which puts his status for the regular season opener in doubt.  While Detroit should beat the Rams at home with me playing safety, Lions fans should still be uneasy whenever Delmas is watching from the sidelines.

And who’s to say the injury won’t linger on past Detroit’s first game?  Delmas could miss considerable action, as this same knee has been plaguing him for some time.

Should Delmas miss time, the rest of the secondary will have to step up in a huge way.  It will be Wendling and Erik Coleman who will be asked to fill Delmas’ shoes, a tall task for anyone in the league.

And unfortunately, it’s a task I don’t see either one of them fulfilling.

The truth is this: without Louis Delmas, the Lions are not a playoff team.  Unless Delmas is able to get healthy and stay healthy, Detroit’s schedule is too tough to win 10+ games, which is what it will take to earn a wildcard spot in the NFC this year.

The Lions fate may rest solely on one man’s knee.

No pressure Louis.

 

Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Yankees pay for education of slain officer's children

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

An appreciation for Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab touchdown celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch documentary about Manny Pacquiao

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.