Carey’s future with Lions in limbo amid coaching search

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — It’s typically been around this time of year Don Carey quietly inks an extension with the Detroit Lions, but for now, the veteran defensive back and special team standout’s future is unclear.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn is holding off on contract decisions until he hires the team’s next head coach. But Carey’s skill set should carry over, regardless of scheme. He finished the season with nine special-teams tackles, second on the team to Steve Longa, and the first time he didn’t lead the roster in three years.

Additionally, Carey, 30, may require offseason surgery. He suffered a knee injury in the season finale.

“It’s too early to tell,” he said. “I’ll sit on the couch, let some of the inflammation and swelling go down, and we’ll see what happens.”

And while he declined to elaborate on the details, he noted he hasn’t suffered an ACL tear.

“No, it’s nothing like that,” he said.

A sixth-round draft pick out of Norfolk State in 2009, Carey had brief stints in Cleveland and Jacksonville, before landing with the Lions in 2011. He’s appeared in 84 games for the franchise, seeing time at cornerback and safety, while contributing on multiple special teams groups.

Carey is also a locker room leader and active in the community. He was named the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee in 2016 for his work with Detroit area schools.