By: Will Burchfield
The Lions' questionable defensive line took a big hit on Sunday.
Kerry Hyder was carted off the field in the team's preseason opener versus the Colts with what Jim Caldwell termed "a significant Achilles injury."
Asked if Hyder ruptured his achilles, Caldwell said, "That's the initial impression."
Hyder, 26, led the Lions last season with eight sacks. The team had just 26 overall, tied for the second fewest in the league.
With Hyder down, Detroit is now without its two starting defensive ends. Ziggy Ansah has spent the duration of training camp on the physically unable to perform list and is without a timetable for a return.
"It doesn't look good," Caldwell said of Hyder, via the Free Press. "He worked so hard and it's tough anytime any guy gets injured. He put a lot of time into getting ready for the season and those kind of things, so it's a difficult thing."
Meanwhile, free-agent acquisition Cornelius Washington missed Sunday's game with an ankle injury and Brandon Copeland left with a shoulder injury. Armonty Bryant, who had four sacks last year in limited action, is suspended for the first four games of the season.
Rookie Jeremiah Valoaga took Hyder's place at left end. Alex Barrett and Anthony Zettel filled in for Ansah at right end. The former two both registered sacks, but, as undrafted rookies, they're largely unknowns.
Said Caldwell, "I know they functioned pretty well today. They made some plays. But this is a long season and big test. It's just one game. In this league, you can have a decent week one week and then the next week you're terrible. So we just got to keep working. But they have promise and they did some good things today."
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