Lions veteran running back smiles at the end of practice Friday. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Allen Park — The Lions turned Saturday’s training camp into a mock scrimmage, giving coaches a chance to see how much work the players have to do before the preseason begins next Saturday.
Players entered the field as they would for a real game and went through typical warm-ups before going through a variety of in-game situations.
“I hope they’re not ready to start it now because we’ve got a lot of practicing to do in between,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “For a week away, I think we certainly made some mistakes out there in terms of some of the things that we were trying to get done, but this is the time to do it. But I do think that at this stage just in terms of the time table, I think we’re right on schedule.”
The first-team offense scored on two of its four drives, with one touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Reggie Bush, who beat Stephen Tulloch on the short pass. The other score was a 47-yard field goal by rookie kicker Nate Freese.
Here are some other observations from camp Saturday:
■Calvin Johnson sat out during the scrimmage, which Caldwell said was a precautionary measure to hopefully help with his long-term health.
■Rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy also sat out, though he dressed. Van Noy suffered a thumb injury Monday, but had practiced the rest of the week and didn’t have his right hand taped.
■Darren Keyton played a series each at left guard and center when veterans Rob Sims and Dominic Raiola, respectively, sat out. Keyton is in his second year out of Central Michigan.
■Keyton and rookie Travis Swanson, who played second- and third-team center, both had snap issues. Keyton had a bad exchange with Stafford that led to a fumble, and Swanson sailed a shotgun snap over Kellen Moore’s head that was picked up and returned for a touchdown by rookie defensive end Larry Webster.
■In addition to Freese’s field goal, Giorgio Tavecchio hit a 50-yarder.
■On the first team’s scoring drive, rookie tight end Eric Ebron made an impressive sideline catch against cornerback Rashean Mathis.
■Montell Owens continues to get first crack at fullback duties, and he was the signal caller on the punt team Saturday.
■Tight end Joseph Fauria was among the players on the kickoff return team.
■Third-year cornerback Jonte Green had an impressive day, breaking up two passes to Ryan Broyles.
■Running back George Winn ran well with the third team and had a loud play when he led with his helmet to run over linebacker Brandon Hepburn.