Rookie Carter out for season as Lions leave him on IR

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Alex Carter

Allen Park — Lions cornerback Alex Carter won't have a chance to play during his rookie season.

With his 21-day practice window closing Monday, the Lions will leave Carter on injured reserve for the rest of the season after he started the year on IR with designation for return.

Carter, a third-round pick, said interim general manager Sheldon White informed him of the decision after practice Monday, though he didn't provide a specific reason. White told Carter to be ready to play in 2016.

"I just turned 21," Carter said. "Most of the guys are still in college at 21, so I feel like this has been a good year to prepare, really get my feet under me and come back really strong next year."

After dealing with an ankle injury at the start of training camp and into the preseason, the Lions put Carter on the IR list that would keep him out for a minimum of eight games. Carter has said for more than a month that he's healthy, but the Lions likely think he's not ready to contribute yet after missing nearly three months of football.

"He looks like a guy who hasn't had an opportunity to work the entire spring and fall," coach Jim Caldwell said.

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Carter also missed time in the spring as he finished his scholastic requirements at Stanford.

For the Lions, not seeing Carter this year could be problematic as they won't know how important it is to add cornerback help in next year's draft.

For Carter, not playing is frustrating, and he said he's hungry to contribute now. He'll stay attentive in meetings and already has some plans for his offseason training to try to ensure this won't happen again in 2016.

"I'll be ready," he said.