August 16, 2016

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Lions hope the worst of DeAndre Levy's injury problems are behind him.

Levy was removed from the active/non-football injury list before practice Tuesday, and he was able to participate, although it's not clear how much the Lions will play the linebacker during the preseason.

Levy missed almost all of last season because of hip problems, and he has not shared the details of the injury that's kept him out for some of training camp this year.

''I expect to be ready to roll Week 1,'' he said.

Levy had a career-high 151 tackles (117 solo) during the 2014 season, a performance that earned him a contract extension last August. He has started 83 games for Detroit since being drafted by the Lions in the third round in 2009.

But he played only one game last season, and his more recent injury issues interrupted his preparation for the Sept. 11 opener at Indianapolis.

''I'm a new face out there right now,'' Levy said.

Coach Jim Caldwell said he'll have to wait and see how Levy progresses - he did not specify any sort of plan for how much Levy might play in preseason games. Detroit hosts Cincinnati on Thursday night.

Levy said he'd ''like to get some live reps'' - but Caldwell said there's not that much urgency for the veteran to play in exhibition games.

''It's not a necessity. It's not like it has to happen,'' Caldwell said. ''We'll just kind of see where he is from a health standpoint.''

The Detroit coach did say that Levy's attitude and desire to play was to be expected.

''Usually those guys that are really intrinsically motivated, I mean, you have that problem all the time,'' Caldwell said. ''It's a good problem to have.''

Even if he's healthy again, the 29-year-old Levy has to show he can still be as effective as he was a couple of years ago. It's not clear how much rust will be a factor for him in the weeks ahead.

''Guys that have played as much football as he has, you know oftentimes they catch on rather quickly,'' Caldwell said. ''He never really gets away from it to be honest with you. He kind of keeps his head in there all the time, so we'll see.''

Although Levy said little about his return during a brief chat with reporters, sticking to short answers, the Lions can certainly be encouraged by the prospect of having him available again.

''It was great to see him back out there working,'' cornerback Darius Slay said. ''He's a tackling machine. He covers a lot of ground for everybody.''

NOTES: Caldwell said there should be no pressure on rookie QB Jake Rudock to throw deeper passes. Rudock acquitted himself well in Detroit's preseason opener, going 8 of 11 for 72 yards and a touchdown against Pittsburgh last week. ''There's a progression, particularly in most pass plays. There's a deep component, there's an intermediate component, there's a short component to it,'' Caldwell said. ''Rather than forcing something up the field, if he looks at it and thinks he's got it, he can take it. If not, he just kind of works with his progression.''


Online: AP NFL website: and

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