Detroit Lions: Jim Caldwell Doesn’t Want to Talk About Injuries

Jul 29, 2016; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron (85) smiles after practice at the Detroit Lions Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2016; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron (85) smiles after practice at the Detroit Lions Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Naturally, Jim Caldwell was asked about the injury status of Eric Ebron and some other Detroit Lions but he wasn’t interested in giving any updates.

The Detroit Lions got quite a scare on Sunday when it looked like Eric Ebron went down with a potentially devastating leg injury. It seems the worst has been avoided as Ebron missed practice today but was on the sidelines without a walking boot or crutches.

If fans thought they would get any info on Ebron’s outlook, they should no better than to think Jim Caldwell would spill the beans on what he and the team know. Of course, Caldwell was asked, repeatedly in different ways, but he managed to dodge, dip, dive, duck and dodge through it without saying anything after practice today.

That and more from Caldwell’s post-practice press conference today.

On if he has an injury update on TE Eric Ebron: “We do, but we don’t discuss injuries.”

On if it’s a good sign that Ebron can at least walk around: “I’m not going to talk about injuries or anything of that nature with you guys, you know that by now.”

On how concerned he was when Ebron left the mock game on a cart: “You know one of the things that happens in our game is that you’re going to have some injuries.  Things happen all the time that way, you hope they don’t, but sometimes they do.”

On if Ebron’s injury is long term: “I’m not going to discuss anything. I’m not going to get into prognosticating. I’m not a doctor, etc.  I’m not going to talk about that.”

On if Ebron will practice or play in Pittsburgh: “We’ll see.”

On what Ebron has to do to get back on the field: “Same thing everybody else does. When he’s out, whatever his issue is, they work on it and try to get back out as quickly as they can.”

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On TEs Orson Charles and Cole Wick: “Obviously they get a little bit more reps, which I think is always good and guys have to take advantage of it. When your rep count goes up you’ve got to make certain that you’re playing well. Obviously you see them catch a few balls here and there, but there’s a lot more to it than that.”

Of if the Lions will add a free agent at TE: “We’ll see.”

On the status of WR TJ Jones: “Once again, he’s out. We’ll see what happens, how long the doctors say he’ll be out.”

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On if Jones has a concussion: “We don’t have to talk about injuries at this point. We don’t release that information. You guys can ask it as many times as you want. We’ve only got so much time. If you want to keep getting the same answer, that’s fine with me.”

On what the team misses with Ebron out: “Obviously you can see he’s got some talent. He can run, catch and the thing is he’s growing and getting better all the time.”

On how Ebron’s loss impacts the team: “One of the things I think you have to be able to do is you have to be able to adjust. It’s a next-man-up situation. And you find maybe someone doesn’t have all the exact, same characteristics that he has because you don’t find many guys quite like that—size, speed, dimensions, so you’ve got to certainly rely maybe on a couple other guys doing something, what they do.”

On Ebron’s injury giving Wick an opportunity for reps: “Yeah, he’s growing.  Last spring I thought he caught onto things fairly well and now we have a lot more information going in, it happened a lot faster.  But I think he’s hanging in there, he’s working at it and doing a good job.”

On Ebron’s leadership at practice while injured: “I think overall, just in terms of the overall scheme of things, you always hope your veterans serve in a mentorship role with each and every young guy.  It just helps with the teaching process.  Although the coaches do a tremendous job in terms of communicating with them, there’s a player-to-player communication that I think is invaluable.  I think you see it happen with Glover Quin, which he does with a lot of the young guys.  That player-to-player sort of, peer group sort of instruction is I think, part of what makes a team, or helps a team develop because they can kind of get to the core quickly as well.”

On his specific expectations for practicing at Pittsburgh: “It’s always give and take.  Any time you go on with a joint practice you kind of look at the things you do in terms of period-wise, so forth, and structure it.  We’ll meet with them, talk with them, been talking with them for quite some time.  But the real object is no different than our practices that we have here.  The great thing is now we get a chance to work against someone who hasn’t been watching your scheme the entire time.  Also a very, very good football team.  We’ll do some great evaluations and that’s a huge part of it.”

On if he speaks with Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin in regard to the upcoming practices: “Sure, sure.  Also our coordinators talk.”

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On this week’s matchup between the offensive line and the Steelers defensive line: “Yeah, I think that’s certainly a key area that we’ll be watching, as well as the one on one’s with the defensive backs and wide outs and vice versa. I mean, all the way across the board. It presents an opportunity for us to be challenged. This time of year you don’t get that, necessarily, consistently from your own group because of the fact that they’ve seen enough of how you operate. They may even know some of the verbiage that you use to call plays. There’s a lot of different things going on, but here it’s kind of a fresh look against some of the best talent in the league, so we’re excited about having this opportunity.”

On the challenges with RB Dwayne Washington being new to returning kickoffs: “Yeah, you know any time you’re in a little bit different role you’re going to go through a few growing pains, just in terms of the decision making, judgment, and things of that nature. But what he does have, is you can see he can run. He’s a big body, and he’s willing. Back there is an area that obviously you need some speed to hit the holes, and hit them quickly, but you also need some girth to withstand some of the impact that happens on those plays. He has both of those, just in terms of attributes. We’re looking forward to seeing him grow and develop that way.”

On Washington’s progress since missing time this offseason: “Without actually doing it, it’s difficult. He did what the rules allowed, just in terms of his study and things of that nature, but it’s a lot different than being out on the field, so he’s really catching up. I think he’s moving in the right direction, but he’s got a lot of ground to cover.”

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On if he will address the team before heading to Pittsburgh on the “crazy” nature of joint-practices: “I’m not sure what you mean by “crazy.” I think both teams have done a great job of keeping their composure and those kinds of things, because I think it’s extremely important. I don’t foresee any issues.”