By Ashley Scoby
Linebacker DeAndre Levy participated during the open portion of the Lions' practice Thursday, the first time that he's done so since the preseason. Levy has been dealing with an unspecified hip injury all season and has yet to make his debut in a regular season game. He was listed as limited for Thursday's full practice.
The leading tackler (151) on Detroit's top-tier defense last year, Levy is a crucial cog to what has been a struggling unit this season. The Lions are currently tied for 27th in the league in total defense – 26th against the pass (851 yards allowed in three games) and tied for 20th against the run (336 yards allowed). This comes after finishing second in the NFL last season defensively - behind only the Seahawks.
"Obviously, he's an outstanding player," said head coach Jim Caldwell on Levy. "Anytime you get a guy back with that kind of experience and those kinds of things it's going to help you, there's no question about that."
Caldwell hasn't confirmed whether Levy will play in the Lions' next game, but it's possible the linebacker could make his debut on Monday Night Football against the Seahawks. Seattle is top five in the league in rushing yards, so the Lions could use all the help they could get in defending it.
Although Levy returned to the practice field Thursday, tight end Brandon Pettigrew, running back Joique Bell and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah all did not participate at all.
Pettigrew has been dealing with a hamstring injury and Ansah is dealing with a groin injury. Bell has been practicing every day up until Thursday, although he did sit out the entire preseason as he recovered from a knee injury. The injury keeping him out of practice Thursday is to his ankle.
Bell has struggled this season, averaging only 1.1 yards per carry, off 20 attempts. His longest run this season was seven yards.
"Obviously not the start that I want," Bell said on the radio when asked if he was completely healthy. "I don't really talk about injuries. ... The coaches know my situation and that's pretty much all I have to say about that."
Larry Warford, who injured his ankle Sunday, was a full practice participant Thursday.
In addition, offensive tackle Corey Robinson (ankle) and cornerback Josh Wilson (lower leg) were limited.
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