Lions' LaAdrian Waddle plans return to practice

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Lions right tackle LaAdrian Waddle said he plans to practice this week to test a calf injury that's held him out the past two games.

The team will determine Waddle's availability for next Sunday's game against the New York Jets based on how his right leg responds to the extra activity.

"It just depends on how practice goes," he said.

Since suffering the injury on the fourth offensive play of the season, Waddle has not practiced at all, but last week he did a little work with a trainer to the side on Thursday and Friday.

He's not sure how much he'll be able to do in practice this week, but the more Waddle can do, the more likely he'll be able to play. With Waddle out, the Lions have started Garrett Reynolds the past two weeks, but undrafted rookie Cornelius Lucas played more snaps than the veteran Sunday, including the final offensive drive that lasted 6:54.

The Lions lost top backup Corey Hilliard to a season-ending foot injury after he replaced Waddle in Week 1.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell didn't provide an update on Waddle's injury during his news conference Monday.

"He's improving," Caldwell said.

The improvement has come after some heavy rehabilitation. Waddle did not travel to Charlotte, N.C. for the Week 2 game against the Panthers to stay home for treatment. He also did some rehab Saturday night and Sunday morning before the Week 3 game last week.

"We're getting after it," he said.

Slow progress

The other starter whose return date is unknown is strong safety James Ihedigbo, who has yet to play after suffering a nerve injury in his neck during the second exhibition.

Ihedigbo has been limited in each practice the past two weeks, but was doubtful and ultimately inactive the past two games.

"He's been getting better and better," Caldwell said. "We'll just see how this week goes, he's improving."

Starring cameo

Defensive back Don Carey, who aggravated the hamstring that kept him out the first two games, returned a fumble for a 40-yard touchdown on the second play of the game against the Packers.

He aggravated the injury on special teams later in the first quarter, forcing the Lions to go with Gorrer (40 snaps) and undrafted rookie Mohammed Seisay (10 snaps) the rest of the game.

Oh yeah? Why you ...

During the coin toss against the Packers, Lions center Dominic Raiola and Packers defensive end Mike Daniels were seen jawing at each other, but Raiola said it wasn't anything atypical for an emotionally-charged divisional game.

"It's an emotional game and when you play somebody in your division, it gets turned up that much more," Raiola said. "I don't think they like what happened last Thanksgiving. We took their best shot, and we gave another shot back."