The Detroit Lions, no strangers to limited personnel in the defensive secondary, announced today that safety Louis Delmas had undergone knee surgery on August 7, in order to assist with the healing process for the soreness he developed early in training camp. The surgery was performed by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
Delmas, a four-year veteran, injured his knee on Thanksgiving Day against the Green Bay Packers. Prior to that, he had totaled 51 tackles in the 11 games he had started in. Delmas has been listed on the Lions injury report 28 of the 48 weeks he has been "in season."
In hindsight, the moves Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew made this offseason now look more like prospective starting lineup acquisitions rather than bolstering depth. Perhaps he has some foresight into the possibility. Perhaps it was a lucky guess. Either way, re-signing Erik Coleman and picking up Sean Jones now become smart moves on his behalf.
With another surgery to attempt to heal his latest injury, the question now becomes whether he can become the solid, durable performer the vastly-improving team needs in order to move forward. History says no, he is cannot. It would be in Detroit's best interest to start looking for a young player with superstar potential.
Delmas notched 94 tackles and a sack in his rookie year of 2009. In 2010, he followed it up with 84 tackles and doubled his previous sack total. However, he only managed 2 interceptions in his 3 completed seasons - all shortened by injury. His biggest attribute is the imposing strength in which hits were delivered on unsuspecting ball carriers. Always a possible highlight reel participant, Delmas strikes with such force, most wide receivers are left helpless to defend themselves.
Based on that description of his career, there is no denying that he is a talented player. Talent, however, does not make up for lack of durability. Having an upper-tier performer means nothing if he cannot stay healthy and on the field. Somehow, Detroit will have to address the issue and Delmas will have to find a solution to his liability of durability. Detroit cannot afford to wait and hope.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.
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- Louis Delmas
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