The Detroit Lions may be preparing for their prime-time season opener against the New York Giants which will take place on Monday night. However, they are currently preparing for the Giants without rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who the Lions placed on injured reserve with the designation to return on Tuesday.
Now for some this move comes as no surprise, considering Van Noy had surgery last week to repair a core muscle injury. Having said that, it doesn’t change the fact the Lions are now without their young rising star, who is now expected miss at least the first eight games of the season, making the Lions fears a reality.
Nevertheless, the Lions aren’t allowing their concerns for Van Noy to cause them to panic, as the Lions made the decision on Tuesday to re-sign defensive end Darryl Tapp, which they are allowed to do since by placing Van Noy on IR, the Lions have the option to add another player to their 53-man roster.
If Tapp’s name seems familiar to you, it should seeing that he once considered a strong candidate to make the Lions team before being let go by the Lions during the final round of cuts on Saturday. However, that’s water under the bridge now, since he is now back with the Lions and looking to contribute.
Now I know what your thinking, how does a defensive end like Tapp help the Lions to fill the void of Van Noy or even contribute to the defense, considering he is the Lions sixth defensive end and 10th defensive linemen on the team?
Well to answer your first question, while Tapp has experience playing linebacker. It has already been reported that linebacker Tahir Whitehead is going to start at strong-side linebacker for the Lions. Allowing Whithead to not only fill the void of Van Noy but to also build a strong defensive fort at the linebacker position with veterans Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy.
Beyond that, Whitehead’s backup will be linebacker Ashlee Palmer, who started at the position last year. While Tapp, will be probably be used as a versatile defensive player, who will be used on special teams, while also contributing on defensive side of the ball at either the defensive line or at linebacker position.
As for Van Noy, as I mentioned earlier, he is now expected to miss at least the first eight games of the season. Which might be right on time, since he will not be eligible to be activated to the 53-man roster until after Week 8. Considering the Lions will be on a bye week in Week 9, Van Noy won’t be allowed back into game action until Week 10, if he is indeed healthy and ready to go at that time.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
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