Oct 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions strong safety Don Carey (32) during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Not too long ago, Don Carey’s production would have been an actual concern, since he was thought he would be taking snaps for the (presumably) injured Louis Delmas. But Delmas hasn’t been injured, so Carey’s play has been inconsequential. He does have five tackles as a special teamer, but those go along with two penalties (both against Cleveland).
As with so many bench players, impacting the game means getting into it, and Carey will just be a solid backup in case they need one. To this point, they haven’t, and hopefully it stays that way.
This is kind of complicated. The only reason Carey had any expectations at all is because they were preparing for Delmas to miss time as he had in the past. He hasn’t which is why Carey hasn’t seen the field. So Carey hasn’t met expectations, but it’s not really his fault. He isn’t here to compete with Delmas, just to provide insurance. That’s exactly what he’s doing, the Lions just haven’t needed it yet.
Carey is a solid player, and a good one to have as a backup. The fact that the Lions haven’t needed to go to the well on safety depth is bad for Carey personally, but good for the team. It doesn’t really have anything to do with his performance, aside from the simple fact that he and Delmas/Quin are in different leagues. He’s fulfilling the exact role the Lions hoped he would fulfill.