ALLEN PARK >> The Lions made it official on Tuesday that the season is over for Kerry Hyder. The defensive end, who tore his Achilles in Sunday’s preseason opener, was placed on injured reserve.
After Monday’s walk-through, coach Jim Caldwell only would say that an announcement was forthcoming. Hyder, who led the Lions with 8.5 sacks in 2016, is likely out until training camp in 2018.
Also on Tuesday, the Lions placed running back Mike James on injured reserve and waived guard Matt Rotheram.
Hyder posted on his Instagram account: “There is no quit in my body. I truly believe God has a plan for me and I will be back better than ever. I am blessed beyond measure and I know this is not setback. It is an opportunity for me to show my strength that God has put in me. All things are possible through him. Thank you to all the friends and family for support. To Lions nation I promise I will be back better than ever. Thank you all.’’
His teammates will miss him.
“Kerry is a big brother to me, having him in the room he has one of the biggest hearts and he plays and it shows day in and day out in practice. … Now we just think what we can do for him. He worked his butt off to get to where he is now. That this happened to him sucks,’’ said defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (in photo).
Caldwell said not surprisingly Monday was a tough day for Hyder.
“It’s kind of what you can expect. I’m not got to say that it was obvious but there’s nobody that’s excited about going through what he’s going through, so it’s a tough time,’’ Caldwell said.
— Defensive end/linebacker Brandon Copeland could miss the season with a torn pectoral muscle, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
His loss would mean another huge hit for the defensive line. Hyder is out for the season and defensive tackle Khyri Thornton (six games) and defensive end Armonty Bryant (four games) will serve suspensions to start the season.
Copeland left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return. The Lions have made no statement on Copeland. After a day off on Tuesday they return to practice on Wednesday.
— A’Shawn Robinson was a standout on the defensive line in the preseason win over the Colts.
He finished his rookie season in 2016 showing more s each week.
“You know, which is kind of hard to believe with a guy that big, that strong that he’s stronger. He’s, I think, running well. He had a pretty solid game the other day and did some of the things he’s accustomed to doing. He put pressure on the quarterback by knocking his guy back into the pocket,’’ Caldwell said. “And certainly when he gets pushed, it just ties in together with him getting his hands up in the throwing lane and tipping a few here and there. But he’s coming along well.”
He’ll likely start alongside veteran defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. And while the line will miss Hyder and Copeland, Robinson on the inside will be a factor.
“That was the first game for all those guys and we’ll see what happens in the second. Like I told the rookies, for the most part, we have a period that we go through all the mistakes. And the reason why we do that is because of the fact that those mistakes have to be corrected because what the other team does now, you’re on film. They look at your strengths. They look at your weaknesses. And those are the things that you attack,’’ Caldwell said. “So, we got to work at correcting ours. So, it’s the same thing with the guys that have been around a little bit. They still will look at you next week, they’ll spend a little bit more time in terms of preparation. So, we’ll see how well they progress.”
— Jeremiah Valoaga seemed to make the most of his chances on Sunday. The defensive end, an undrafted rookie, has had a few moments in training camp too.
“He played well. He’s long (6-foot-5) . He’s got some push. Between he and Alex (Barrett), those number of guys got some pressure on the quarterback,’’ Caldwell said. “And we kind of like what he’s doing right now. But he’s still young.”
Defensive end is a key position with Hyder likely out, and suspensions for ends Armonty Bryant (four games) and Khyri Thornton (six games) to start the season.