LaAdrian Waddle filled in at right tackle for Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard in the Lions' victory over the Cowboys last weekend. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Allen Park — A native of Columbus, Texas, Lions right tackle LaAdrian Waddle grew up cheering for the Texans, but many of his friends and family are Cowboys fans.
So Sunday’s win over Dallas felt just a little better.
“It’s just nice to get the win in general,” he said. “I think it’s a little bonus that it was the Cowboys.”
The biggest bonus for Waddle, an undrafted rookie from Texas Tech, was that the win came in his first NFL start as he replaced injured right tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard.
While Waddle admits he wasn’t perfect, he thought he performed well and plans to continue fine-tuning his game.
Modest as he is, the analysts at Pro Football Focus thought Waddle was much better than OK. The site gave Waddle the highest grade of any Lions offensive lineman this season after he allowed just one quarterback hurry and hit.
In 43 snaps filling in for Hilliard against the Bengals in Week 7, Waddle allowed three hurries and one hit.
Waddle said his shoe fell off on the play in which he allowed a hurry against the Cowboys. The shoe was loose for three plays before Fox replaced Waddle for one snap.
“I got away with it so it worked out all good,” Waddle said.
Fox (knee) was healthy enough to be active Sunday, and Hilliard (knee) doesn’t have a long-term injury, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday. So after the bye week, the Lions might face a tough decision between the rookie and one of the two veterans.
“He’s an undrafted rookie free agent, but none of that matters now,” Schwartz said of Waddle. “When you’re on the field, you’re expected to do your job and contribute, and he’s done that.”
Waddle said he expects more to go into the decision than just his one start, and he plans to be available if given another shot.
“That’s not really my call,” Waddle said.
“Regardless, I’m going to prepare myself to be the starter and just have that mindset going in, but whether or not that’s my job, that’s not my call. It’s up to the coaching staff, and whatever they end up doing, I’m going to roll with it.
“But, like I said, I’m going to always be ready to go in case my number is called.”
Just in time
No harm, no foul for left tackle Riley Reiff.
Stafford’s winning quarterback sneak Sunday, the Lions had to wait for Reiff to sprint some 30 yards to the Dallas 1 before the snap.
“Probably the fastest I’ve ever ran in my life,” Reiff said.
Reiff made it to the line and got set before Stafford surprised everyone, teammates included, with the sneak.
“It got the job done, right? I guess it worked,” Reiff said.
The NFL trade deadline came and went, and the Lions weren’t involved in the league’s only trade.
Still, many analysts mentioned Lions running back Mikel Leshoure ahead of the deadline as a possible target for teams in need of running back help.
Leshoure, though, said it was easy to dismiss the reports because he doesn’t read them.
“It hasn’t been a stressful week,” the 2011 second-round pick said.
“I haven’t been thinking about the (trade deadline).”