Lions activate Longa; Tabor, Crosby and Savage return to practice

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Steve Longa

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions activated linebacker Steve Longa off the physically unable to perform list on Monday, days before the team's preseason finale Thursday in Cleveland. 

Longa has been out of action since suffering a torn ACL last August. In 2017, he was one of the Lions' key special teams contributors, racking up a team-high 11 tackles. 

"It's been a hard year," Longa said. "There's no training for this. ... You can tell yourself to prepare your mind all you want, but going through it, that's how you cultivate and build those callouses.

"If you've never been through it, you don't know how you'll handle the situation." 

Given the extended time away, and short time to make an impression, it's setting up to be a challenging week for Longa in his pursuit for a roster spot. Physically, he felt good coming out of his first practice, but it will be a process of figuring out how his body responds the next couple days. He still doesn't know if he'll get an opportunity to play against the Browns.

"I don't know what the plan is right now," Longa. "That's up to the guys upstairs." 

According to coach Matt Patricia, no decision hasn't been made in regard to the linebacker's long-term standing with the team. 

"Not really," Patricia said. "For us, we don't know what's doing to happen in the next two, three, four days, from that standpoint.

"He's done a lot of work behind the scenes," Patricia said. "He's really put in the grind in the offseason, trying to really understand the defense and through training camp, paying attention to the installs and the film corrections, all that stuff. It's just exciting to have him back out there and I know his teammates are excited to get him out there."

In addition to Longa's return, the team got back a handful of key reserves on the practice field. Cornerback Teez Tabor, quarterback Tom Savage and offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby were all participating for the portion of practice open to the media. 

Only Savage's injury was known. He suffered a concussion in the preseason opener when the side of his head bounced off the turf while being sacked. 

Not practicing for the Lions were cornerback Rashaan Melvin, tight end Jesse James, defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand, defensive end Austin Bryant, linebacker Jarrad Davis, center Frank Ragnow and wide receiver Tommylee Lewis. 

Finally, the Lions made a transaction at the back of the roster, re-signing running back Justin Stockton and releasing wide receiver Deontez Alexander. 

With Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson unlikely to see meaningful action in the fourth preseason game, Stockton provides additional depth in the backfield.