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Caldwell on Rams' rough kneel-down play: 'That's their business'

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Travis Swanson, left, and Graham Glasgow block for Matthew Stafford on Sunday.

Allen Park — Victory formation might've been a losing proposition for the Lions on Sunday afternoon.

Center Travis Swanson came up from an aggressive late push by the Los Angeles Rams looking at and shaking his right hand, and after the game he was taken for X-rays and his hand was wrapped in ice.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell wouldn't talk about the severity of Swanson's injury Monday, other than uttering his staples: "We'll see" and "check the report."

Caldwell was a little more open to discussing the end of Sunday's 31-28 victory over the Rams, who pushed hard on the Lions' last two kneel-downs, leading to some rough tackles and a war of words among some players.

Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is known for that style of play late in games, where many other coaches simply concede the game and accept the kneel-down without incident to avoid injuries.

"In a situation where we've taken hundreds and hundreds of kneel-downs," Caldwell said. "Were they prepared for that? Absolutely. That's all I have to say about it."

Caldwell over the years hasn't coached that style of play like Williams, who most famously is known as the ring-leader for Bountygate with the New Orleans Saints, resulting in a year's suspension.

"We just coach the way we've always coached and try to be sound in every situation," Caldwell said during his Monday press conference with Detroit reporters. "Try to expect the unexpected and sometimes things happen where they're unexpected.

Lions mum on possible returns of Pettigrew, Bostic

"Guys coach the way they want to coach. It's their business. We do what we do, everybody does what they do. We don't try and copy anybody. We don't worry about what anybody thinks or anything of that nature. We just try to do our job."

On the first kneel-down, the Rams came hard, with Aaron Donald bowling over Laken Tomlinson, who appeared to fall onto quarterback Matthew Stafford's foot. Stafford came up limping.

On the next play, the Lions pushed back, with Swanson getting stuck under a pile of players from both teams. Donald again was rough, throwing down Tomlinson, who lost his helmet on the play. Stafford and Taylor Decker both got in the faces of any Rams players they could find, and had some choice words.

Any more thoughts, Jim?

"That's their business," he said of the Rams. "Ask those guys that question."

"That's just the way we believe in, philosophical."

Rams coach Jeff Fisher told L.A. reporters that the aggressive play on kneel-downs were not called from his team's sideline.

Rough kneel-downs have led to scuffles in the past, including a 2012 game between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Then-Giants coach Tom Coughlin and then-Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano had a screaming match at midfield during the postgame handshake.

Roster move

The Lions re-signed defensive back Charles Washington, an undrafted rookie out of Fresno State, to the practice squad. He had four solo tackles in four exhibition games. The Lions released receiver Jay Lee from the practice squad.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter @tonypaul1984