Lions' Ebron optimistic after fearing season was over

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — For the first time since suffering a lower leg injury earlier this month, Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron talked to reporters, sharing his in-the-moment fears that his season was over.

“My life (stinks),” Ebron said his first thought was as trainers evaluated his leg on the Ford Field turf. “I didn’t know what to expect when I went down. I didn’t know how to handle it.”

Ebron criticized reports from national media outlets, which suggested he had suffered an Achilles injury that would end his season. He said those reports were published before he even had a diagnosis.

The past three-plus weeks have been tortuous for the third-year tight end. He’s leaned on the support of his mother, as he said he always does when something is going wrong in his life.

There’s been no rush to get back on the field during the preseason. Ebron knows it’s in his best interest to fully rehab his injury, to get back to 100 percent, but he’s eager to return to the lineup.

“I’m not huge on watching,” he said. “I like action. I like to be in action. It just sucks being on the sideline. It’s not my lifestyle. I wasn’t born for this. I wasn’t bred for this, but I’ve got to (sit) right now.”

Ebron’s status for the team’s season opener, Sept. 11 in Indianapolis, remains up in the air. He’s optimistic, but he knows the decision is out of his hands.

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“That’s up to the people upstairs,” Ebron said. “I hope. That’s all I can do, but it’s up to (coach Jim) Caldwell and the medical staff as far as what they want to do with me Week 1.”

Ebron caught 47 passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns last season. He’s expected to have an even bigger role in the offense this year, helping bridge the production gap following the retirement of Calvin Johnson.

The Lions have been short at the tight end position all offseason. Brandon Pettigrew is still on the physically unable to perform list after tearing his ACL last December, Tim Wright is on injured reserve, also with an ACL injury, and the team released veteran Matthew Mulligan as part of it roster cutdown on Monday.

The team dressed just four tight ends for Monday’s practice — Andrew Quarless, Orson Charles and undrafted rookies Cole Wick and Adam Fuehne.