Lions' Fauria walking fine, working on return

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Allen Park — With the Lions offense struggling to put up points and receiver Calvin Johnson and running back Reggie Bush ailing, one of their other targets is still trying to make his return.

Tight end Joseph Fauria, who is recovering from an ankle injury, has missed the last three games and is working to get back in the lineup soon.

"I'm just trying my best," Fauria said Wednesday. "It's just a frustrating injury, but I'm getting there."

Fauria said he sustained the injury after he slipped on the stairs at his house while chasing his puppy. In the ensuing weeks, Fauria was in a walking boot and on crutches but is walking fine now and doing some workouts.

Although he doesn't have a timetable for his possible return, Fauria is trying to make strides each week without trying to rush back and suffering another setback.

"My goal every week is to come back that week. If I tell my body I'm not going to come back until Week 13, I'm not going to come back until then," he said. "I'm a proponent of if my head says so, my leg is going to listen. If I'm not coming back this week, I hope it's as soon as possible."

If he's not able to return for Sunday's game against the Saints, Fauria is targeting the following week in London against the Falcons. Watching from the sideline and not being to contribute while the offense hasn't been at its best is frustrating for Fauria, especially with injuries to other key players.

"Even if they were doing well, it would difficult. It's always difficult watching football, especially when you know you can't contribute and help out a little bit," he said. "As long as we're winning, I don't think that (the offense is) struggling at all."

Coming off a rookie season with 18 catches for 207 yards and seven touchdowns, Fauria has just three catches for 49 yards and no scores.

But whenever he's able to come back, Fauria knows that he'll be looked upon to produce quickly. The experience from last season helped him understand how vital he can be.

"It's not like I'm a rookie who doesn't know what to expect. It's my second year and started off a little slow the first three games and now I'm taking a little break," he said. "Now I'm trying to come back as soon as possible; once I come back, I can't skip a beat. I'll hit the ground running and do what they ask of me and do it at 100 percent."