DeAndre Levy lauded for leadership after Tulloch injury

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Detroit — Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy had 10 tackles, two pass break-ups and a safety in Sunday's 19-7 win over the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.

But his biggest contribution in the game was something that can't be measured statistically.

When middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch left with a knee injury in the first quarter, the Lions relied on Levy to handle the defensive calls relayed by coordinator Teryl Austin into his helmet.

"At first, it was frustrating because the speaker (in the helmet) was not working," Levy said. "I don't know who the new headphone guys are or who's sponsoring the headphones, but they weren't working very well."

Regardless, Levy maintained his composure as the equipment team tried to fix the helmet issues, and the Lions overcame what could've been a devastating communications issue against a potent Packers offense.

"I can't get flustered if the headset is not working or whatever's going on," Levy said.

Levy started his career as a middle linebacker for the Lions, but he switched to the weak side when the team signed Tulloch in 2011. He hadn't handled play calls since 2010.

"It's tough," Levy said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Tully doing it."

Levy's teammates appreciated his work to direct the calls to the entire defense through any technical issues.

"Levy's a leader, too," defensive tackle Nick Fairley said. "When Tully went down, Lev came to us and was like, 'Hey, I need you guys.' "

Carey's big play

Having missed the first two games of the season because of a hamstring injury, defensive back Don Carey was just happy to be back in the lineup.

But Carey, who started as the nickel cornerback, made an almost immediate contribution, scooping up a fumble by the Packers' Eddie Lacy and returning it 40 yards for a touchdown on Green Bay's second play from scrimmage.

The defense already had a tough task, facing the potent Packers passing attack, but as the Lions offense struggled in the first half, the significance of Carey's key play was magnified. Against the Packers, the Lions defense played one of its most dominant games in years, holding Aaron Rodgers to 162 passing yards.

"The way to measure yourself is to play against the best, so we got a measure of what our defense can do today," Carey said.

Unfortunately for Carey, he re-injured his hamstring on the fumble return and didn't return to the game, so he didn't have much chance to measure himself. Caldwell said he didn't know the extent of Carey's injury after the game.

When Carey went out, the Lions relied on Danny Gorrer, who signed Tuesday, and undrafted rookie Mohammed Seisay to handle slot duties.

"Danny is a talented vet who understands the defense. Slay is coming along and maturing a lot," Carey said. "Even getting Mo Seisay in there to get some live action, everybody played well and stuck within the scheme, like we expect them to do."

Extra points

Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle, safety James Ihedigbo, cornerback Cassius Vaughn, special teams ace Montell Owens, linebacker Travis Lewis, wide receiver Ryan Broyles and quarterback Kellen Moore were all inactive.

… At right tackle, Garrett Reynolds started for Waddle, but rookie Cornelius Lucas played, too. Isa Abdul-Quddus started for Ihedigbo at strong safety.

… Vaughn left Ford Field with a boot on his left leg. He was listed with an ankle injury last week.

… For the Packers, starting middle linebacker Brad Jones was out, and Jamari Lattimore (nine tackles) started in his place.

… Quarterback Scott Tolzien, cornerback Demetri Goodson, linebacker Carl Bradford, defensive tackle Mike Pennel and wide receiver Jeff Janis (Saginaw Valley State) were their other inactives.

… The Packers also placed linebacker Andy Mulumba on injured reserve this week and did not fill his roster spot, so they had just six inactives.

By the numbers

4 – Missed field goals this season by Lions rookie kicker Nate Freese, including a 41-yarder just before halftime

16 – Games since Packers running back Eddie Lacy fumbled, before his first-quarter drop. His last one was in his first career game.

26 – Yards gained by Lions running back Reggie Bush on his fourth-quarter touchdown run. It's his longest scoring run since Sept. 29 last year against the Bears.

52 – Yards gained by Lions receiver Corey Fuller on his first career catch, with eight seconds left before halftime.

162 – Passing yards by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, his lowest total since Nov. 9, 2008, when he had 142 against the Vikings in his first year as a starter.