Lions' Joseph Fauria says he injured ankle chasing dog

By Josh KatzensteinThe Detroit News

Allen Park — Last year a box of pizza led to a costly Lions injury (Nate Burleson), and earlier this year a celebration resulted in another (Stephen Tulloch). Now, an adorable 3-month-old puppy is the alleged culprit.

Wearing a boot on his left foot with crutches nearby, Joseph Fauria addressed rumors about his mysterious sprained ankle Monday, explaining that he slipped on the stairs while chasing his dog to stop him from peeing.

Fauria, who said he didn't know his timeline for a return, suffered the injury last Wednesday night. Coach Jim Caldwell said last Thursday that it was an "innocent" incident at home and stood by the story when pressed Friday.

"Long story short, I was at home after I went to go hang out with my friends after (practice) on Wednesday night after a little volleyball event," Fauria said. "It wasn't until 11 o'clock, hanging out with my dog, and he kind of did something bad and ran away from me."

The "little nugget," as Fauria said, is a Pomeranian Husky mix.

"I was running downstairs, but kind of was doing it a little faster than usual," he said. "I missed the last two steps, and my carpet goes to hardwood. And I was wearing socks, and I just put all my weight down on my left foot."

Rumors surfaced last week that Fauria was playing recreational volleyball in Huntington Woods, but he firmly denied a claim that he asked for an ice pack and left the court limping.

Fauria said he did some warm-ups with his friends on the volleyball court after Lions practice the past two weeks, but was there for just 20 minutes last Wednesday, hurting the ankle hours later.

"I probably jumped around a couple times, but nothing serious," he said.

Fauria also said he was not intoxicated.

"It wouldn't have hurt as much if I'd drank," he said.

Fauria said he first called punter Sam Martin, then Lions trainers, who he said didn't answer. He had neighbors drive him to urgent care, but he said the facility was only accepting patients after 11 p.m. who incurred occupational injuries. Next, the neighbors took him to the emergency room at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

"It felt pretty significant," he said. "That's like 265 (pounds) all on one foot. Now, I'm just concentrating on getting back as fast as possible."

Watching the Lions' 24-17 win over the Jets was a strange experience for Fauria, who didn't miss a game his rookie season. He joked that he nearly sprained his other ankle when rookie tight end Eric Ebron caught his first career touchdown pass.

"I hate being out here on crutches and not being able to help my team, but we're still winning," he said.