Lions grinding through start of offseason program without Matthew Stafford, Damon Harrison
Allen Park — As the Detroit Lions work through Phase 1 of the team's offseason program, a voluntary two-week segment that focuses on strength and conditioning, there are a couple of notable absences.
First and foremost, quarterback Matthew Stafford isn't participating. And for good reason. His wife, Kelly, is undergoing an operation to remove a brain tumor this week. She posted an update Tuesday evening on Instagram, noting that she was packing for the hospital.
"It’s hard to replace Matthew in the sense — I mean, it’s really hard to touch upon this situation," center Graham Glasgow said Tuesday. "It’s a really tough time for him and his family, and him and Kelly are extremely tough people and this is something that is bigger than football, so it’s just something that I feel like we’re all taking upon ourselves to make sure that we are getting the team better."
Another player not participating is defensive tackle Damon Harrison. His representatives have approached the Lions about a new contract this offseason, something general manager Bob Quinn said he's open to talking about after the draft.
Teammate and captain Devon Kennard was reluctant to talk about Harrison's absence, but wasn't concerned about it being a lingering issue.
"I don’t think it has any effect on anything," Kennard said.
Acquired in a deadline deal last season, Harrison's addition transformed the Lions defense. Following the acquisition, the team allowed just 3.3 yards per carry the final 10 games of the season.
Harrison, 30, is under contract for two more seasons. He has salaries of $6.75 million in 2019 and $9 million in 2020, with $250,000 workout bonuses each year.