Two players who suffered season-ending knee injuries last season are not back on the field. Well, technically speaking. Running back Kevin smith and tight end Brandon Pettigrew participated in the third team organized activity today. According to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, both looked crisp and agile off the bat.
Pettigrew and Smith only participated in individual drills, but sat out the team drills that took place at Allen Park. Both players are on pace to return according to their timetables, but there is no definite time when they will be back and fully participating in competitive drills. According to Jim Schwartz, neither player are close to jumping into full fledge workouts.
“They’re still not even close to being cleared for team work and competitive stuff. They’re not right in the middle of a long-term rehab, but they’re probably more past the middle. But they still have a long way to go.
“They’ve done well in their rehabs. There’s been no setbacks. Hopefully, by the time training camp comes, they’ll be able to be on the field and not have very many limitations.”
Both players will be a key part of the offense in 2010 and it will be interesting to see where both players fit, now that the Lions have added more depth at both positions. Pettigrew, like last season, could be the key to the running game blocking wise and one of the two 6’5″ targets at tight end that Matthew Stafford will target in the passing game.
Kevin Smith will most likely share carries with Jahvid Best if he can come back strong and healthy.
— Brandon Pettigrew and Kevin Smith aren’t the only ones recovering from knee surgery. Gosder Cherilus and his “amazing” footwork is recovering from off-season arthroscopic surgery on an re-aggregated knee. Cherilus is slated to start at right tackle in 2010, if he can get over the mental errors that have haunted him since he was drafted in 2008.
— Matthew Stafford competed in all of the team drills, and he looked good. He was able to throw the ball around without any problems. There was no concern here, but it is good to hear that our franchise player is up and back at it again.
— Defensive Backs Eric King and Daniel Bullucks returned to action as well today. Bullucks is battling a number of injuries, but is looking to get back at the same level of play as everyone else in the secondary. King will battle in camp for one of the starting corner back positions.
(Joe Dexter is the lead blogger at SideLion Report. For more commentary on your Lions, check us out on Twitter.)