Allen Park — One of the biggest questions the Detroit Lions are looking to answer this offseason, much like a year ago, is whether the team will be able to generate enough pass rush. Within that question is determining what defensive end Kerry Hyder will be able to offer, a year removed from rupturing his Achilles tendon.
Through a week of training camp, including three padded practices, it's difficult to make any meaningful assessments, other than noting there doesn't appear to be any physical restrictions on Hyder.
Coach Matt Patricia praised Hyder for pushing the pace of his rehab to be in the position to fully participate in the offseason program.
"I thought he did an outstanding job coming back through the spring," Patricia said. "You talk about a guy that did everything possible through his rehabilitation and working with our trainers and our strength staff to make sure he was ready to go for training camp. I think he just willed himself ready to go, to be honest with you. I mean, most of those injuries take a little bit longer.
"He’s obviously a tough guy...He loves the game, it’s real important to him and I would say that's the way he’s approached training camp and he just doesn’t want to be out," Patricia said. "You kind of have to protect him from himself here a little bit."
After spending two years on practice squads, Hyder enjoyed a breakout season in 2016. He pushed his way onto Detroit's roster with three sacks in the preseason finale and went on to lead the team with eight sacks that season.
In line to start opposite Ziggy Ansah last season, Hyder went down early in the first preseason game with the Achilles injury. The Lions went on to finish 20th in sacks and 27th in pass-rush pressure rate.
Long one of the roster's more engaging players, earning the team's Good Guy award in 2016 for cooperating with the media at all times, Hyder has fallen into the trap of cliches many of his teammates have become increasingly reliant on this offseason under Patricia.
With respect to the idea that "last year is last year" and Hyder is one of 90 guys on the roster "just trying to get better every day," he at least acknowledged how much he missed the game when asked about the longer practices the team has been conducting this year.
"That’s the fun part," Hyder said. "I spent a year not out here, so I’m enjoying every minute of it."