Allen Park — The Lions had 11 players sitting out Thursday’s organized team activities, the first of the 10 OTAs open to the media.
The most shocking absence was running back Ameer Abdullah, and coach Jim Caldwell acknowledged for the first time that the team’s top back underwent shoulder surgery this offseason.
“He’s recovering nicely,” Caldwell said of Abdullah.
In addition to Abdullah, wide receiver Golden Tate had an excused absence, and tight end Eric Ebron was out nursing an undisclosed injury.
Caldwell said Abdullah underwent surgery “early on in the offseason,” but wouldn’t specify exactly when the procedure happened. Asked if Abdullah would be available before training camp, Caldwell simply said, “We’ll see.”
Caldwell also declined to say whether Abdullah played with the injury during his rookie season.
“You know I don’t talk about injuries and all that stuff in those kind of details,” he said.
Tate was seen outside the Lions facility during practice, and Caldwell said his absence was not injury related.
“We know where he is,” Caldwell said. “He had a situation. He’s not missing in action or anything.”
Caldwell said Ebron is “coming along.” Tight ends Brandon Pettigrew (knee), Tim Wright (undisclosed) and rookie Adam Fuehne (undisclosed) were also sitting Thursday, so the team had just two tight ends available, Matthew Mulligan and rookie Cole Wick.
Defensive tackle Caraun Reid (ankle) was out as he continues to recover from surgery. Offensive tackles Michael Ola and Corey Robinson were out for undisclosed reasons.
Linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who could be cut soon, and rookie running back Dwayne Washington, who is finishing scholastic requirements at Washington, were also absent.