Threat of injuries won’t change how Caldwell coaches

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell watches his team during the third quarter against the Ravens.

Allen Park – Injuries are part of the game, and Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell refuses to let the open-ended threat dictate the way he uses his players in the preseason.

The issue of managing risk in the preseason is again at the forefront following a devastating injury to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

Less than two minutes into the Cowboys’ third preseason game, Romo scrambled from the pocket and was brought down from behind by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril. The quarterback folded up awkwardly and immediately clutched his lower back. Test results revealed a broken bone that could sideline Romo up to 10 weeks.

It’s a tough pill for the Cowboys to swallow in a game that doesn’t count, but every time a player steps between the white lines, there’s risk for injury. Caldwell understands this and will stick to his plan for his roster, getting them enough work to prepare the team for the regular season.

“No, none whatsoever,” Caldwell said when asked if Romo’s injury gives him pause. “You start coaching scared and playing scared, you have a problem. I’ve never even thought twice about it.”

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The Lions have had some injury issues this offseason, but nothing comparable to Romo. Detroit lost undrafted rookie cornerback Ian Wells to an ACL tear, veteran receiver Andre Caldwell suffered a broken hand and linebacker Jon Bostic is sidelined for the next several weeks with a foot injury.

The biggest issue has been with tight end Eric Ebron, who is still out after suffering a lower leg injury during the team’s mock game earlier this month.

The Lions escaped their third exhibition contest in Baltimore with no notable concerns. Linebacker Tahir Whitehead briefly had to leave the field after having the wind knocked out of him, but he returned to the field the next defensive series.