TE Michael Roberts among 14 Lions sitting out practice

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Michael Roberts

Allen Park – In the final training camp practice open to the media, 14 Detroit Lions players sat out, including five of the team’s eight tight ends.

Already hurting at the position, rookie Michael Roberts took a seat Thursday, joining fellow tight ends Eric Ebron, Cole Wick, Khari Lee and Tim Wright on the sidelines.

Also out for Detroit were running back Matt Asiata, wide receivers Dontez Ford and Noel Thomas, guards T.J. Lang and Laken Tomlinson, offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas, defensive tackles Haloti Ngata and Bruce Gaston, and linebacker Thurston Armbrister.

The leaves the Lions potentially short-handed at some spots heading into Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets.

More: Niyo: Lions are down but not out at defensive end

Despite losing two players to season-ending injuries in the preseason opener last week, Jim Caldwell doesn’t plan to alter his approach to the contest.

“Are you asking me if we’re going to play players less because we’re afraid they’re going to get hurt?” Caldwell said. “No. Plain and simple. You can’t play this game that way, you can’t coach this game that way.

“They’re not pheasants under glass. They’ve got to get out and they’ve got to get out and play. You don’t back down from that. If you’re nervous or scared, you might want to get another job."