Lions’ DeAndre Levy inactive for season opener
San Diego — DeAndre Levy signed a four-year, $33.7 million extension last month, but when the Lions begin the 2015 season Sunday against the Chargers, the star linebacker won’t be on the field.
Levy, who’s dealing with a hip injury, is officially inactive for Sunday’s game at Qualcomm Stadium, which begins at 4:05 p.m.
Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (elbow/knee) is also inactive, so Cornelius Lucas will start in his place. With right guard Larry Warford (ankle) also out, the Lions will be missing two of their top offensive linemen on a unit that was supposed to be new and improved this season.
With Warford out, Manny Ramirez will start at right guard while first-round pick Laken Tomlinson makes his first start at left guard.
The other Lions players who won’t appear in the game are wide receiver TJ Jones, cornerback Nevin Lawson, tight end Tim Wright and defensive tackle Caraun Reid.
Jones was listed as the top punt and kickoff return option on the unofficial depth chart, but with him sitting, the Lions will likely turn to rookie running back Ameer Abdullah, which was the expectation when they drafted him in the second round in May.
Josh Bynes will start in place of Levy, making his first start with the Lions. He made nine starts for the Baltimore Ravens from 2012-13 and played as the Lions’ fourth linebacker option for much of 2014.
Reid, like Warford, was ruled out Friday, and Jermelle Cudjo and fourth-round pick Gabe Wright should see expanded roles behind starters Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker.
Lawson being inactive is a sign of the coaches’ trust in rookie sixth-round pick Quandre Diggs, who will be the second nickel option behind veteran Josh Wilson. Benching Wright is likely due to him being with the team for just a week and the confidence in both Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew.
For the Chargers, starting outside linebacker Jeremy Attaochu is inactive. Tourek Williams is also inactive, leaving San Diego with just three outside linebackers among their 46 active players.
Wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, cornerback Craig Mager, running back Donald Brown, guard Johnnie Troutman and nose tackle Ryan Carrethers are also out for the Chargers.