OT Cornelius Lucas comes up limping after minicamp

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Lions offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas slowly walked off the practice field following Tuesday's minicamp, but said it wasn't a limp.

"I think that's just part of my natural swagger," he said.

Lucas declined to say what ailment held him out of practice Tuesday, but said it won't require surgery, which is a good sign for a team severely lacking proven depth at the position.

"He's got a bit of a nick, but nothing that's of consequence," said coach Jim Caldwell, adding Lucas would be sitting Wednesday and Thursday, too.

With LaAdrian Waddle missing OTAs recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last December, Lucas has been the first-team right tackle throughout the offseason, and he'll likely be the opening starter unless Waddle recovers quickly from the difficult knee injury.

So, in the span of just more than a year, the 6-foot-9 Lucas has gone from an undrafted player fighting to make the team to a guy who started three games as a rookie to a likely Week 1 starter. And he considers himself "blessed" to have had chances with the first-team offense this year.

"It was a good experience," he said. "I got to learn so much over this offseason. Just the growth that I've made from the last snap I took in the Dallas game (in the postseason) to even today just watching practice today, it's just been monumental."

With Lucas out, Michael Williams stepped in as the first-team right tackle. Williams is in his third season and spent last year on the practice squad as he made the switch from tight end to tackle. Behind him, the Lions' other tackles are seventh-round rookie Corey Robinson and Xavier Proctor, who's moving from defensive tackle.

The Lions have had three different players start at right tackle each of the last two seasons, so they'd like to find a reliable option. And Lucas was upset he had to miss any practice.

"Any reps you miss is a problem, so I'm not really feeling too hot about it," he said. "But at the same time, it's all about certain situations and the time of the year it is."

Gilbert in camp

The Lions had a new face at minicamp Tuesday with quarterback Garrett Gilbert arriving after the team claimed him on waivers last Friday. To make room for the second-year quarterback, the Lions waived undrafted rookie Anthony Boone. St. Louis drafted Gilbert in the sixth round last year out of Southern Methodist, but was cut out of training camp. He spent time on the Rams' and Patriots' practice squads, and New England waived him last week. Gilbert's father Gale was a backup quarterback for the Seahawks, Bills and Chargers.

"He's a guy that certainly has played in a couple preseason games, has size and ability, and so, we're anxious to get a real good feel for him," Caldwell said. "But he has a good pedigree, and we'll see how it works."