After Detroit Lions cornerback Bill Bentley was placed on IR with a torn ACL earlier this week. Head coach Jim Caldwell made it very clear during Thursday’s media presser, that if he did decide to bring someone in to fill the Lions open roster spot, he would probably bring someone from in-house like cornerback Mohammad Seisay or safety Nate Ness, who are both part of the Lions practice squad.
“We do have [roster spot] still available and we’re in the process of determining what we want to do with it.” Caldwell said on Thursday. “It’s not like we don’t have a plan, we do and we’re working on it. You have to anticipate and understand that we’re at Thursday, so the most likely thing that is going to happen, is that we’re bringing somebody up. No one is coming off the street and coming here to play for us in the next few days. So we’re working on it. We got a couple of guys–young guys we talked about yesterday, we got Seisay, who’s obviously a possibility, Ness is a another possibility. Both guys are working and both guys, we believe in. Whomever you see out there for us filling that spot is really going to do a really good job, we have faith in them.”
Well according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions have promoted safety Nate Ness to their open roster spot on Saturday, which is just in time for their Sunday afternoon match-up against the Carolina Panthers.
When I spoke to Ness on Friday, he made it clear that he would be more than ready to play Sunday against the Panthers, if needed, saying that he was one hundred percent ready to play.
“I’m ready. Ness said with a huge smile on Friday. “I’m 100 percent and I’m ready [to play].”
Now, I know there be some Lion fans out there who are shocked that Ness was brought up considering most fans thought the Lions would bring up un-drafted rookie cornerback Mohammed Seisay, who was also was a candidate for promotion this week, to replace Bentley.
However, in the Lions’ own unique way, it actually makes sense for them to bring up Ness this week.
For starters, when it comes to replacing Bentley, who was the starting nickel-back for the Lions before tearing his ACL. Caldwell made it clear on Friday that rookie corneback Nevin Lawson, who played most of the game in Bentley’s place on Monday, would see an extended role and add depth to that position moving forward.
Which is why I believe coach Caldwell decided to bring up Ness. I know that the Lions are still short at cornerback, with only four healthy cornerbacks on their roster right now. However, keep in mind that they are just as short at the safety position.
You have to remember going into their Sunday match-up against Carolina starting strong safety James Ihedigbo will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury. Then if that’s not enough, Ihedigbo’s backup Don Carey, will also be out for this game because of a hamstring injury.
That being said, the Lions will have Isa Abdul-Quddus, who is expected to start at safety alongside Glover Quin. Which once again leaves un-drafted rookie Jerome Couplin as the only other healthy safety on the roster. Therefore justifying Caldwell’s decision to bring up Ness.
I don’t know about you but I think Ness could prove to be a good option for the Lions. Despite not making the original 53-man roster, Ness had a good preseason with the Lions, as he earned up two interception and more than a few impressive tackles, which is why the Lions made the decision to bring Ness on the practice squad.
According to Ness, he has only approved his game since joining the Lions practice squad. Stating that his friendships with Lions veteran secondary members, have helped him to get better and be prepared for anything.
“[The veteran influence in the secondary has] meant a lot.” Ness said when asked about the veteran secondary members. “We have guys that have been in this league for a while. Their not selfish guys, their very humble team orientated guys and family guys. The big picture is that everybody wants to win, that’s the main goal. So we have help everybody because you never know when another man might have to come up in their to help win a game. So you got to be prepared and I’m prepared.”
The former Arizona Wildcat, has all the tangibles to play at a high level for the Lions if needed. At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Ness already has good size which leads to him having the strength to play up in the box and be a sure tackler in the open field. However, what stands out the most about Ness, is the fact that he loves making plays on the deep ball and the fact that he is one of the more physical secondary members on the team along with fellow safety Jerome Couplin. Plus, he could also provide a nice special-teams role for the Lions against the Panthers.
Plus, as he mentioned to me on Friday, even though safety is his natural position, Ness does have the ability to play cornerback, if needed. Which is one of the reasons, he said that he would feel confident if his name was called to join the Lions main roster.
“I just feel good, I’m back to playing my natural position [at safety] but if they needed me to play cornerback, I can go up in there and play corner.” Ness replied on Friday. “I just feel real good, you know when your back in the swing of football and you practicing everyday, you can get your confidence back up and get your swag back all of that and right now I have my swag back and I’m back.”
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.
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Report: Lions Promote Safety Nate Ness From Practice Squad; Ness Says He’s ‘Ready’ was originally published on wchbnewsdetroit.com