Ngata on injury list at start of practice for Lions
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Ndamukong Suh's replacement began fall practice on the injured list.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata missed the team's first practice of training camp Monday with a strained hamstring. The five-time Pro Bowler, whom the Lions acquired from Baltimore in the offseason when Suh left via free agency, was on the field with his teammates, but he wore a hat instead of a helmet. Ngata did not talk to reporters as he left the field after practice.
''Haloti actually during his workouts, Haloti was getting prepared to come back, he was certainly doing extremely well in that regard, ended up straining a hamstring,'' coach Jim Caldwell said. ''So he's going to be out for a little bit. We'll see how it goes, but he's a pretty fast healer.''
Rookie defensive back Alex Carter also missed practice after twisting an ankle last week.
The Lions acquired the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Ngata from Baltimore in March, and they hope his presence on the interior can help them overcome the loss of Suh and fellow free-agent departure Nick Fairley. Detroit is also waiting for defensive end Jason Jones to return - he's on the active/physically unable to perform list.
Jones did not want to talk about the specifics of his injury Monday, be he said he does not expect to miss any games in the regular season.
''As far as on the D-line, we've got Haloti on there and we've got Tyrunn (Walker), we've got a lot of new guys,'' Jones said. ''We've got a lot of depth at D-line, and I feel like we will have a big year this year, and it starts right now.''
The Lions signed Walker in the offseason and also drafted defensive tackle Gabe Wright. Second-year defensive tackle Caraun Reid could also have a chance to contribute more.
''I like the group. You've seen Caraun Reid, you like Gabe Wright, you like Tyrunn Walker,'' Caldwell said. ''Obviously Haloti isn't out there right now, but he will be back. It's a heck of a group. Our ends, we have some veterans that can get around.''
Running back Joique Bell is also on the PUP list, recovering from what the team website said were knee and Achilles' tendon procedures.
''Well obviously he doesn't have pads on, but he's running well, he holds the ball well, and he's reacting well, so none of those are issues,'' Caldwell said.
Bell is in line to be the team's No. 1 running back after the Lions cut Reggie Bush in the offseason. But if he can't return soon, that leaves an opportunity for Ameer Abdullah, Detroit's second-round draft pick.
The Lions drafted Carter in the third round, but the 6-foot cornerback out of Stanford hurt his ankle last week, according to Caldwell.
''Everything is weight bearing now, so we will see,'' Caldwell said. ''Anytime that you miss reps, it doesn't help you. He's a smart guy, he works, he studies and he's one of those guys that can learn without doing. He's still going to have some ground to make up when he does come back.''
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