DeAndre Levy will finally play Sunday vs. Cardinals
Allen Park — Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy will make his season debut Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals (4:05 p.m., FOX) after missing the first four games due to a hip injury.
Coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that Levy will be one of the team’s three captains for the game and that it’d be safe to assume he’ll play.
“I would assume you can probably make that assumption,” he said.
Levy was one of the stars of the Lions’ second-ranked defense in 2014, finishing second in the NFL with 151 tackles. He also had career highs with 15 tackles for loss and 2½ sacks last season.
“Obviously, any time you have a guy that has that kind of experience that he’s had and fine play that he’s had through the years, that certainly makes a huge difference,” Caldwell said of Levy returning. “Every year is different, but he adds a boost to us.”
The 28-year-old Levy signed a four-year, $33.7 million contract extension in August, but has yet to have a chance to provide some return on that investment this year. Despite the Lions starting 0-4, Caldwell said he doesn’t think about how Levy’s presence might’ve altered the start of the season.
“It doesn’t cross my mind,” he said. “Never do I look at what-ifs and all that kind of stuff. That doesn’t make any difference. I know where we are, and I know where we’re trying to go. So, that’s the most important (thing) to us right now.”
Caldwell declined to say how much Levy would play Sunday, but after being a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday, it looks like he’s ready to handle a full workload.
With Levy returning, the Lions now have to look for another way for Josh Bynes to get on the field as he’s been the team’s best linebacker this season. Bynes filled in on the weak side for Levy the first four games, but he could earn some snaps in the middle or on the strong side moving forward.
In addition to Levy, left tackle Riley Reiff will be the offensive captain, and running back Theo Riddick will be the special teams captain.