Taunting penalty mars Levy's long-awaited return

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
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Lions' DeAndre Levy gets charged with a taunting penalty towards the Colts sideline, with quarterback Andrew Luck, to give Indianapolis a first down, in the third quarter.

Indianapolis — It wasn’t a quintessential performance by DeAndre Levy, but it was an important day for the Detroit Lions veteran linebacker, returning to action after essentially missing the 2015 season with a hip injury.

“It was good,” Levy said. “That was a major hump, getting that first full game of action. I just need to keep building from here.”

Two years ago, Levy finished second in the NFL with 151 tackles. In the Lions’ win over the Colts, he recorded just four stops, but flashed some of the ability that made him one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL.

“I’ll sure you’ll see him get better and better,” coach Jim Caldwell said.

In the first quarter, the Colts ran play-action and threw a flare out to speedy wide receiver Donte Moncrief in the flat.  With only Levy to beat for a big gain down the sideline, the linebacker was able to track the receiver down and spin him to the ground for no gain.

“Yeah, it felt good to make one of those plays,” Levy said. “The reaction was where I was hoping to be sharp, just training my eyes and reading my keys quickly.”

Levy also had an uncharacteristic moment.

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In the fourth quarter, after shoving Colts quarterback Andrew Luck out of bounds just short of the first down marker on a third-down scramble, Levy got into it with several players near the Colts bench. As he was pulled away, he made a gesture that drew a taunting infraction, a 15-yard penalty that gave the Colts a first down.

The mistake put Indianapolis in field-goal range and they ultimately converted the opportunity into three points.

“That was heat of the moment,” Levy said. “I had like five guys get up in my face and grab me, but it was stupid. It wasn’t a smart play.”

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @justin_rogers

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