Whether or not tackle LaAdrian Waddle plays again Sunday, he said it was a thrill to see his first NFL action last week. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Allen Park — LaAdrian Waddle didn't do anything to make Lions left tackle Riley Reiff or right tackle Corey Hilliard worry about their starting jobs, but the undrafted rookie proved why he made the 53-man roster in his first NFL action Sunday.
And entering this week of practice, Waddle will be the Lions’ only healthy offensive tackle, and he expects any time practicing with the first-team offense to help if he plays Sunday against the Cowboys.
"We're not really sure what's going on with the injury situation at the moment, but every week, regardless of the situation, I prepare like I'm going to be playing," Waddle said. "If I have to go again, I'm going to be ready."
Waddle entered in the second quarter of Sunday's loss to the Bengals after Reiff (hamstring) left the game. Waddle played 29 snaps on the left side. Then, when Hilliard (knee) went down in the fourth quarter, Reiff returned and Waddle played 14 snaps on the right side.
On those 43 snaps, Waddle allowed three quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.
"It's very impressive," left guard Rob Sims said of Waddle playing both tackle spots. "A lot of people can't do that, especially at tackle, especially for his inexperience. Sometimes ignorance is bliss when you don't know exactly what you're doing, and you just go out there and play."
Lions coach Jim Schwartz wouldn't say Monday if Reiff, Hilliard or Jason Fox (knee) would be available Sunday. Reiff being able to return against Cincinnati was "a little bit encouraging," Schwartz said.
Hilliard said Tuesday his MRI from Monday produced good results, and while he hopes to play Sunday, Schwartz said Hilliard is more than day to day but "it's not a long-term thing."
Fox, who started the season ahead of Hilliard, has missed the past two games, but Schwartz said he's improving.
The Lions also signed veteran tackle Barry Richardson on Tuesday, but since he hasn't learned the offense yet, he'll likely only play in an emergency.
Whether or not Waddle plays Sunday, he said it was a thrill to see his first NFL action last week.
"That's why everybody plays, to get in the game and play," he said. "It was really exciting; it was a good experience. I'm just looking forward to getting back out there and doing a better job next time."
Wide receiver Nate Burleson (forearm) said he did some lifting Tuesday and was fitted for a Kevlar brace he'll wear when he returns.
However, Burleson ruled out a return for Sunday's game against the Cowboys.
He did, though, say the Week 10 game in Chicago is "a reasonable target."
No thanks for shank
After hitting a 28-yard punt that set up the Bengals for the winning field goal Sunday, rookie punter Sam Martin said everyone at the Lions’ facility has given him support.
Fans on Twitter, though, weren't quite as forgiving.
"About as bad as you can imagine, but for just as many bad ones as I got, I got a lot of good ones," Martin said of the tweets. "It comes with it. I just click the person, block them and read the good ones.
"All I care is what people think in this building."