John Wendling will replace Louis Delmas at safety in the preseason opener for the Detroit Lions tonight.
Wendling, a special teams standout, will start against the Cleveland Browns, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. That means that Amari Spievey, who started most of the last two seasons, will be relegated to a backup role.
The good news is that Birkett reports Delmas, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee, should be back prior to the start of the regular season. Delmas missed five games last season with an issue in his right knee and one college scouting director said his team failed Delmas on a physical coming out of college because of his knees.
Still, Delmas has been the leader of the secondary when healthy and the Lions badly need him on the field. That remains the weak spot on the defense.
“As soon as he is able to get out and go and keep it from getting sore then he'll be back," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "The reason he ended up getting (surgery) done was an effort to get back on the field."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune