Training camp injuries and accidents always force fans and media types to dwell on the negative. "How could this happen now?" or "why wasn't the problem solved sooner?" seem to be the biggest complaints with the recent news on Detroit Lions' safety Louis Delmas.
Instead of operating entirely within in the negative, let's take a moment to consider a few positive elements about Delmas' recent surgical procedure. Perhaps it's true things could have been remedied sooner, but having the operation happen now has actually provided the Lions time to weigh plenty of varied options for their secondary.
First and foremost, the fact Delmas didn't try to be a hero and play with a bulky knee during the preseason is worthy of recognition itself. Far too often in today's world, players think they are bionic men and refuse to tell anyone about nagging injuries. Then, molehills often become mountains and more extended time is missed. While fans will be quick to wonder why Delmas didn't have his problem fixed sooner, perhaps it wasn't agonizing during the offseason. Often times, the only way players know if they're healthy is by competing at game and practice speed. Now, Delmas can take time for proper rehabilitation and hopefully come back stronger earlier in the season when he feels ready to play.
Secondly, this injury is a golden opportunity for Amari Spievey to continue his growth. The young safety has had a bumpy road transitioning at times, but played alright last year in the absence of Delmas. Coming into his third year in the league, the time is now for Spievey's game to take flight. If he's going to be the perfect complement to Delmas for years to come in the secondary, there's no better time than the present to take another giant leap and prove it. If not, at least the Lions will know what they have, and the opportunity to replace him in the future will exist.
Though information on Delmas is limited, it's likely the Lions already know exactly what they're dealing with. Veteran Erik Coleman is also in the fold and will see time at safety, so the Lions will know if they need to replace anyone via trade or the waiver wire long before the regular season gets underway by getting a look at everyone. The first preseason game Friday against Cleveland will provide an excellent proving ground. If Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz don't like what they see and know the specifics on Delmas, expect them to be aggressive in making a move sooner rather than later.
The Lions know the stakes are high this year, and understand a vital contributor like Delmas can't be missing for long at an important position. Fortunately, Delmas could come back even stronger, and in the meantime, the Lions can get a more complete idea of where things stand at safety.
Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.