Injured Lions get antsy awaiting return

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Lions have lost three players to injured reserve, but two other injuries could have a bigger impact.

■Strong safety James Ihedigbo is dealing with a pinched nerve in his neck, which he suffered during an exhibition.

■Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle strained his calf in Week 1 after getting tangled up with Giants defensive end Damontre Moore.

Neither starter has been cleared to return, and both said the doubt surrounding their injuries and return dates is frustrating.

"It's eating me up inside," Ihedigbo said. "And I'm practicing every day, doing everything I can do to get back on the field as fast as possible."

Ihedigbo was limited during practice Wednesday.

Isa Abdul-Quddus played adequately in Ihedigbo's spot in the first two games, and Don Carey could be a replacement option when he returns from a hamstring injury. Carey was limited but did practice for the first time since the third exhibition.

"It's one of those things where I'm feeling better, and every day I'm feeling better but just haven't been cleared yet to play," he said. "And that's out of my hands. It's what the doctors and training staff feel (is) best. They don't want it to be a situation where I come back for one week, something happens and I'm out for two more."

Waddle, who didn't practice last week, missed Wednesday. With Waddle out, the Lions inserted veteran Garrett Reynolds at right tackle last week, but undrafted rookie Cornelius Lucas played 17 snaps. Reynolds allowed two sacks, and Lucas allowed one.

"It was definitely weird not being with the team, not being out there, just watching the game on TV," said Waddle, who stayed in Detroit for treatment instead of traveling to Charlotte, N.C. "I'm just trying to get back on the field, to be honest. I'm trying to do whatever I can to get back on the field."

With Corey Hilliard (foot) on injured reserve after suffering an injury in Waddle's place in Week 1, there's even more need for Waddle to return, but he has little control over his muscle injury.

"You want to make sure it's definitely good to go before you go out there because there is that chance you might reaggravate it or whatnot," he said. "I'm just trying to get back out there and help this team."

Ihedigbo, one of the top acquisitions during the Lions offseason, was supposed to help the run defense with his physical style while giving free safety Glover Quin a chance to utilize his coverage skills

"Trust me, when I'm out there, everyone's going to know I'm out there," Ihedigbo said. "I'll be out there flying around making plays."

Lions coach Jim Caldwell's philosophy on players being available for games after missing practices varies, but the more Waddle or Ihedigbo can do in practices, the more likely they'll be on the field soon.

Packers at Lions


1 p.m. Sunday, Ford Field, Detroit




Green Bay 1-1, Detroit 1-1


Lions by 11/2


Green Bay leads 93-65-7 (Detroit 40-10, Nov. 28, 2013)

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The Lions are 5-23 against the Packers since 2000.