Orchard Park, N.Y. — Kyle Van Noy, the Lions’ second-round pick this year, underwent successful surgery for a core muscle injury Thursday, the team announced.
The Lions traded up to draft Van Noy 40th overall out of BYU with hopes he could be an immediate starter at strong-side linebacker, but now he will be sidelined for a month or longer.
“We will continue to monitor Kyle’s progress and provide updates when appropriate,” the Lions said in a statement.
Van Noy, who did not make the trip to Buffalo for Thursday's exhibition finale, was a surprise inactive for last Friday’s exhibition game against Jacksonville and said Saturday he was worried the injury was a sports hernia and that it was related to his back injury earlier this summer. The Lions initially called it an abdominal injury.
After surgery, Van Noy likely will miss four to six weeks, which will make him a candidate for the Lions’ short-term injured reserve spot. If the Lions give him that designation, he’ll miss the first six weeks of practice and first eight games before being eligible to return.
With Van Noy out, the Lions will rely on either Tahir Whitehead or Ashlee Palmer to start at strong-side linebacker. Putting him on the injured list would also give the Lions a chance to keep another linebacker on the 53-man roster, potentially Travis Lewis.
Van Noy had 26 sacks and seven interceptions in four seasons at BYU, and the Lions hoped he could be a versatile weapon on defense this season. He said Saturday is his first serious football injury.
“I’ve never been injured until I got here,” said Van Noy, who played the maximum 52 games at BYU. “That was the first game I’ve ever missed in my entire life, so it’s been pretty frustrating.”