Lions’ Caldwell explains evasiveness on injuries

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Jim Caldwell

Allen Park – Want to know when DeAndre Levy will return to practice?

“Check the report.”

Is there a chance running back Ameer Abdullah could heal quickly enough to be activated off injured reserve later this season?

“We’ll see.”

Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell is notoriously evasive when talking about his players’ injuries. After fielding a half-dozen inquires on Levy’s status Thursday, and requests for updates on Abdullah and tight end Brandon Pettigrew Friday, Caldwell took a mid-response detour to clarify why he approaches things the way he does.

“Let me tell you guys a couple things,” Caldwell said. “Oftentimes, I think you guys may get a little tired of me, but you know I’m pretty consistent across the board. I’ve been doing the same things, talking about injuries and things, if you check back to my head coaching days, I don’t care when you check, it’s been exactly the same.

“The reason being is, number one, I am not qualified to talk about every single aspect of a medical situation,” he said. “Number two, oftentimes I think what you guys need and what we need is incongruent. They don’t work hand in hand. Our giving out of information gives our opponents information, people we’re playing against, that we sometimes care not to share.

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“Your job is to get as much as you possibly can,” he said. “I understand that fully, so I do understand there’s a little bit of a disconnect there, but you should also understand that I’m not going to change, in that regard. I know some of you get offended once in a while, but those I hope you get over it, rather quickly. That’s the kind of the way I’ve always done it and will continue to do so.”

Caldwell continued the conversation with reporters after his daily news conference, emphasizing the competitive advantage of keeping injury information in house. Caldwell believes by not sharing a player’s status, it forces an opponent to waste practice time preparing for that player.

That advantage hasn’t helped the Lions this season as the team is off to a 1-3 start.