August 16, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Nick Fairley remains with Lions' second-team defense

Allen Park— Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley apparently didn’t make a good enough impression on coach Jim Caldwell to improve his deflating status.

Fairley, who played with the second-team defense all week in practice and in Friday night’s road exhibition loss to the Raiders, stayed with the second group during Saturday afternoon’s practice. Instead, C.J. Mosley got the first-team reps and had three tackles against the Raiders.

Caldwell said late Friday that he didn’t want to comment on Fairley’s performance until after he had reviewed the game film.

“He played better. He worked at it and we’ll see how it goes this week. We continue to evaluate and it’s not just a one-time evaluation,” Caldwell said. “It’s got to be a habit for all of our guys. Everybody operates at a standard that we think is a championship-level standard, and that’s what we’re looking for in every phase.”

Caldwell indicated he thought Mosley was outplaying Fairley and made the switch for last week’s practices.

The team is off Sunday, but where Fairley and Mosley are positioned for Monday’s practice could determine who starts in Friday’s home exhibition against the Jaguars.

Fairley played in 15 games last season and had a career-high six sacks, with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Even after a Friday night preseason game on the west coast, the Lions were back at practice on Saturday afternoon.

They didn’t arrive back in Detroit until early Saturday morning and had a short walk-through practice — in shorts and without pads or helmets — which Caldwell indicated was an attempt to get into a regular weekly routine.

“This is typically what we do Monday after a game. Now, this one is a little bit different because we didn’t get back till about 7:15 this morning,” Caldwell said. “We wanted to give them a feel of how the day goes in terms of our evaluation of the film and give them a sense of it and then went through our paces a little bit in practice.

“Practice was just to break a sweat and oftentimes, guys find out maybe they have an injury they didn’t know about. We run them a little bit, loosen them up a little, go through our corrections then get off the field.”

Players ran through drills at about half speed and some had on baseball caps or hats to help ward off the sun in 80-degree afternoon heat.

Quick turnaround

Even after a Friday night exhibition game on the West Coast, the Lions were back at practice Saturday afternoon.

They didn’t return to Detroit until early Saturday morning and had a short walk-through practice — without pads and helmets — which Caldwell indicated was an attempt to get into a regular weekly routine.

“This is typically what we do Monday after a game. Now, this one is a little bit different because we didn’t get back till about 7:15 this morning,” Caldwell said. “We wanted to give them a feel of how the day goes in terms of our evaluation of the film and give them a sense of it and then went through our paces a little bit in practice.

“Practice was just to break a sweat and oftentimes, guys find out maybe they have an injury they didn’t know about. We run them a little bit, loosen them up a little, go through our corrections then get off the field.”

Players ran through drills at about half speed and some had on baseball caps or hats to help ward off the sun in 80-degree afternoon heat.

Riddick impresses

Theo Riddick is in the mix for one of the spots at running back on the final roster. His speed and ability to create big plays was on display again Friday night, turning a short pass from Dan Orlovsky into a 36-yard gain.

Though the run game wasn’t stellar, Caldwell was impressed with what Riddick was able to contribute.

“I think he had maybe seven plays or so, somewhere around there. But he was obviously able to make an impact while he was in,” Caldwell said. “Very, very good run, so you see he has potential to certainly gain quite a bit of yardage for us. He’s a guy that is multi-talented; he can catch the ball well, he’s a good route runner and he can also run it from scrimmage.

“So he does a good job for us and he plays special teams. He’s a pretty well-rounded guy.”

Extra point

The Lions released linebacker Justin Jackson and signed linebacker Shamari Benton, who played at Central Michigan and Birmingham Brother Rice High School.

Benton (5-foot-11, 230 pounds), an undrafted rookie, had 111 tackles last season for the Chippewas, after tallying 126 as a junior.

Jackson, an undrafted free agent from Wake Forest, had two tackles in last week’s win over the Browns.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com
Twitter.com/detnewsRodBeard

Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley remained with the second team in practice Saturday. / Daniel Mears / Detroit News